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News (March 01, 2002)

MEASUREMENT: PRODUCTIVITY FIGURESEDMONTON, AB -- Calculating productivity using an environmentally adjusted analysis rather than conventional measures can work in favour of the pulp and paper industry...


March 1, 2002
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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MEASUREMENT: PRODUCTIVITY FIGURES

EDMONTON, AB — Calculating productivity using an environmentally adjusted analysis rather than conventional measures can work in favour of the pulp and paper industry. A study for the Sustainable Forest Management network concludes that the industry’s productivity growth is higher if pollution abatement efforts are taken into account. Dr. Terry Veeman and Dr. Atakelty Hailu of the University of Alberta’s department of rural economy conducted the study with data from 1959 to 1994.

Hailu said “the industry has been reducing its BOD and total suspended solids output at average annual rates of 3.3 and 5.9% respectively. Using conventional analysis, industry productivity increased by only 7% from 1959 to 1994. However, when its pollution abatement efforts are included in the analysis, the industry productivity was 41.8% more productive in 1994 than it was in 1959.” Veeman added “conventional productivity measures typically concentrate on marketed inputs and outputs, but do not consider the improved environmental quality associated with pollution abatement.”

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Their study also suggests that conventional measures that ignore undesirable outputs could lead to policies biased against investment in research and development by understating true productivity improvements in industries that have been devoting an increasing share of resources for pollution abatement activities.

z AUDITS

LAC-SAINT-JEAN, QC — Bowater Woodland Operations received ISO 14001 registration. The company’s environmental management system covers all forest management activities on public lands totaling 3 million acres.

BOISE, ID — PricewaterhouseCoopers has certified that Boise Cascade’ s forest management practices are fully compliant with the American Forest & Paper Association’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program standards. The audit examined 700,000 acres of timberland in Louisiana.

MODERNIZATION: TWO-YEAR PLAN

HELSINKI, FINLAND — Stora Enso North America will invest $50m in a two-year program to modernize machines in its magazine paper business. It will expand the thermo-mechanical pulp plant at the Port Hawkesbury facility, and improve its LWC paper machines at its Biron and Whiting Mill.

The company has also decided to discontinue production of its folding carton operations and pasted chip line at the Wisconsin Rapids paperboard mill next April. The Biron Mill will permanently shut down its oldest and least competitive LWC paper machine that has not operated since last March. This shutdown will reduce the capacity by about 50 000 tonnes per year but will not affect the mill’s total workforce.

The existing TMP pulp plant at the Port Hawkesbury Mill, Port Hawkesbury, NS, will be expanded to better support the production of its newsprint and supercalendered paper machines.

“Stora Enso North America will continue to operate in a disciplined fashion while pursuing appropriate opportunities for growth,” Kai Korhonen, president of Stora Enso North America, explained. “The market for coated papers is difficult due to the current economic downturn; however, the organization is poised to improve along with the domestic economy.”

CAPITAL SPENDING: DOMTAR JOINS SELECT GROUP

ALTHOUGH capital spending projections are lower than last year, Canadian mills are still expected to spend over $1.5 billion in 2002, on everything from machine rebuilds to environmental programs to energy-reduction measures. About one-third of the total is dedicated to paper machine rebuilds.

The Gaspesia mill in Chandler, QC, has been resurrected, after a consortium led by Tembec has committed to invest in the $465 million project to convert the mill’s production from newsprint to high-gloss coated paper.

Kruger announced plans to invest $300 million for Kruger-Wayagamack to convert the mill’s production from newsprint to lightweight-coated paper and $75 million for its Bromptonville, QC, mill to improve paper quality.

Abitibi-Consolidated plans to invest $50 million to build a new deinking plant at its mill in Thorold, ON, which will enable the mill to run on 100% recycled.

STATISTICS: KEY FIGURES FROM AIFQ

SAINTE-FOY, PQ — The Quebec Forest Industries Association (AIFQ) has published key figures for the pulp and paper sector in the province. In 2001, production dropped by 6.2% to 9.6 million tonnes. Commercial pulp and newsprint have been particularly affected, -18.4% and -7% respectively. But Quebec still leads the Canadian provinces with 41.3% of the national newsprint production, over twice the amount produced by Ontario, second in the country ranking.

Investments in the sector were down 17% to $758m, which still shows some confidence in the future. As for the workforce employed, it decreased from 76,800 to 75,000 according to the AIFQ. The trend towards sustainable resources in Quebec goes on, as the amount of lumber used by the industry hit a record low of 12.7% of the total source material.

For the whole North America, the Pulp and Paper Products Council report that demand for printing and writing papers declined 6.8% in 2001, and that production dropped 8.3%.

SODIUM CHLORATE: START UP

CALGARY, AB — Nezen Chemicals Canada will start up its sodium chlorate expansion in Brandon, MB, two quarters ahead of schedule. The 70,000 metric tonne capacity increase will be on stream in the first quarter of this year, as the company will idle 50,000 metric tonne capacity at their Taft, LA, sodium chlorate plant.

– BRIEFLY

Norampac reported $82m of net earnings for 2001, compared to $100m for the previous year. Annual sales remained the same from year to year.

Domtar announced net earnings of $152m for 2001, compared to $275m for 2000. Annual sales grew from $3.6b in 2000 to $4.4b in 2001.

Abitibi-Consolidated reported earnings of $289m in 2001, down from $367m.

Norske Skog reported a record profit despite the market conditions. Earnings were up NOK885m to NOK5096m ($910m) in 2001.

Cascades has also announced record earnings with sales up from $2.8 b in 2000, to $3.02b in 2001, and earnings up 12% to $380m.

Bowater achieved a net income of US$73.2m in 2001, down from US$159.4m the previous year, with sales down $500m to US$2.4b.

TECHNOLOGY CENTRE: RESEARCH SURFACES

PITTSBURGH, PA — Bayer’s Paper colorants and chemicals business unit has opened a new technology centre in Woodbridge, CT. The building, a former pharmaceutical research facility, features specialty laboratories for paper pulping and sheet forming, paper testing laboratories and a print quality lab. The research will focus on application development of strength resins and sizing and surface chemicals.


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