Pulp and Paper Canada

News
What’s New… (September 01, 2003)


September 1, 2003
By Pulp & Paper Canada

FIRE RECOVERYCAPACITY WILL BE REPLACEDVERNON, BC — Tolko Industries announced that they will replace the capacity that was lost at its Louis Creek plant during the recent fire. “We are currently expl…

FIRE RECOVERY

CAPACITY WILL BE REPLACED

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VERNON, BC — Tolko Industries announced that they will replace the capacity that was lost at its Louis Creek plant during the recent fire. “We are currently exploring the most cost-effective, long-term opportunities of replacing capacity, and examining the potential of existing and new locations,” said Mike Harkies, General Manager, BC Operations. “We intend to ensure that whatever option is chosen will have economy of scale, leading-edge technology and globally competitive production capabilities to meet the needs of the marketplace.”

The total destruction of the Louis Creek sawmill/planer operations is making the situation analysis an arduous and complex process, and it will likely be four to six weeks for Tolko’s preliminary recommendations. It is anticipated that the entire process of capacity replacement will take as long as twenty-four months to complete. The analysis is further complicated by industry uncertainties and current economic conditions.

LOGGING BAN

KOOTENAY MILLS FACE SHUTDOWNS

NELSON, BC — The Province reported that a ban on logging in the Kootenays because of the fire risk means hundreds of contractors aren’t working and mills are running out of wood. Low inventory would be the cause for a shutdown affecting approximately 200 people.

The same reason caused the shutdown of the Slocan Forest Products sawmill in Radium, East Kootenay region, affecting about 80 people.

Tembec spokesman Dennis Rounsville explained that running out of wood would also affect Tembec’s mills by the end of August unless the ban is lifted, putting 1,500 people out of work.

STATISTICS

NEWSPRINT PRODUCTION, SHIPMENTS UP

MONTREAL, QC — North American newsprint mills operated at 88% of their capacity in June.

Mills have used 90% of their capacity so far this year, compared to 87% for the same period last year.

Newsprint production was up by 1.6% year-to-date and total shipments increased by 1%. Deliveries to the domestic market increased 0.8% and sales to overseas grew 1.8% year-to-date.

By the end of June, North American mill stocks had decreased by 51,000 tonnes month-over-month.

STATISTICS

CONTAINERBOARD PRODUCTION DECLINES

MONTREAL, QC — In June, North American containerboard production declined by 144,000 tonnes, or 5% compared to last year.

During this period, North American mills operated at 91% of their capacity compared to 95% a year ago. North American demand for containerboard dropped 4.3% over the corresponding month last year.

Inventories held at North American mills and box plants totaled 2.7 million tonnes at the end of June — a reduction of 60,000 tonnes over the previous month.

Boxboard production declined by 2.1% while demand weakened slightly, down almost 1% compared to the same month last year. Boxboard mills operated at 90% of their capacity compared to 89% in June 2002.

For the sixth consecutive month, North American production of kraft paper was lower than 2002 levels, down 17.5% for the month and 14.4% after six months. The decline in production is partly due to the strike at Eurocan’s Kitimat pulp mill in May.

Kraft producers operated at 83% of their capacity, down from 88% in the same month last year.

North American kraft shipments were down just under 8% year-over-year in June.

The only grade to show growth in this period was “bags and sacks”, up nearly 12%.

Kraft paper demand continued to decline this month, down 5.2% compared to 2002. Inventories decreased by 16,000 tonnes in June compared to May.

GRANT

LLT FUNDS NORTHWESTERN ON STUDY

TORONTO, ON — Confederation College Forestry Centre, Forintek and Outland Reforestration Ltd. have secured a grant of $154,000 from the Living Legacy Trust (LLT).

The fund is aimed at evaluating enhanced growth, wood quality, stand value and financial returns in response to pre-commercially thinning (PCT) jack pine stands in the Thunder Bay area.

The study will evaluate some of Bowater’s earliest jack pine PCT operations in the Dog River-Matawin Forest Management Unit, located between Quetico Provincial Park and Thunder Bay. It will attempt to enhance this silvicultural practice through scientific evidence in order to maximize returns.

GRANT

CANADA FUNDS FOREST PARTNERSHIP IN PEI

ORWELL, PEI — Funding from the Government of Canada is giving a boost to a new partnership dedicated to sustainable forest management in Prince Edward Island.

Lawrence MacAulay, MP for Cardigan, announced funding of $100,000 to help launch the Island Sustainable Forest Partnership (ISPF).

Funding for the partnership is provided under Canada’s Model Forest Program, a network established in 1992 by Natural Resources Canada to demonstrate how partners with a diversity of forest values can work together to achieve sustainable forest management.

SALE

CANFOR SELLS BC CHEMICALS

VANCOUVER, BC — Canfor announced the sale of BC Chemicals, a division of Canadian Forest Products Ltd. to a subsidiary of Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (Chemtrade) for $117.3 million.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close at the end of August.

Under the terms of the agreement, Canfor will enter into a 10-year contract to purchase the majority of sodium chlorate produced by BC Chemicals and pay a fee for the processing of the soap skimmings from Canfor’s pulp mills.

TREE NURSERY

IRVING ENCOURAGES JUNIPERS

JUNIPER, NB — J.D. Irving, Limited announced the opening of two new state-of-the-art greenhouses at their Juniper Nursery facility. The two new greenhouses will increase the growing capacity of the nursery by 43% and will produce up to 8 species of trees.

“Reforestation is a vital investment and a promise we have been keeping since 1957,” said Jim Irving, President, J.D. Irving, Limited. “Seedlings planted almost 50 years ago are today providing employment for thousands of New Brunswickers — in forest management, tree planting, sawmills, tissue and pulp mills, paper products, tree research, harvesting and transportation,” added Mr. Irving.

With the addition of the two new houses, the total greenhouse area at Juniper has increased to 4.75 acres. This year, J.D. Irving, Limited will plant over 22 million seedlings from Juniper Nursery in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the State of Maine as part of their continued efforts towards ensuring a healthy and sustainable forest resource.

SAFETY

WEYERHAEUSER CONTAINERBOARD WITHOUT A LOST-TIME INJURY

HENDERSON, KY — Employees of Weyerhaeuser Company’s Henderson Containerboard Mill reached a significant safety milestone in their history on July 29, 2003 by working five years — more than 950,000 work-hours — without anyone’s having an injury serious enough to require time off the job. “Employee involvement in safety is key to our success,” said Bob Grygotis, Henderson mill manager. “Team members established safety systems and safety practices early in the life of our organization.”

FORESTRY

WILD FIRES IN THE WEST COAST

MONTREAL, QC — Following the seasonal trend and the continuing dry conditions in many areas, several communities in Canada’s West Coast were evacuated as the worst forest fire in 50 years continue to spread with maximum ferocity.

Canada moved to Level 5 in August as the number of fires currently burning (453) is at its highest level ever this season.

Nationally, 19 aircraft, 365 defence personnel, 270 pumps and 194 km of hose have been mobilized by the government to battle the inferno mainly in Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. Professional and volunteer firefighters number in the thousands, with over 2,000 in BC alone. This is above average for this time of the year and the second highest level for this season. The United States has also suffered but has just dropped to Level 4, indicating an improvement in the situation.

The fire danger continues to escalate in the western parts of Canada, levels have also increase somewhat in the Maritimes Provinces, most notably Nova Scotia. The area of highest
fire danger continues to be southern BC/southwestern Alberta across Saskatchewan into Manitoba. There is also pressure from northern Washington State along the BC border. The levels have increased in the Territories. The weekly hot spot activity was double the average. The area of smoke continues to be well above average.

PAPERCLIPS

MASTERS OF PAPERMAKING

Iraq is often in newspapers these days but in ancient times, the making of paper itself flourished in that country. In his article in the New York Times, Peter Watson writes about the Suq al-warraqin, the Stationer’s Market in Baghdad, which had more than 100 shops selling paper. He comments that despite differing versions of the origin of paper in China, it was Arabs who developed the industry to a fine art in the ninth century.

The article earmarks Baghdad as an important centre of papermaking, with the paper itself referred to as “bagdatixon”. The standard size, known as the “Baghdadi sheet”, was approximately 29 inches by 43 inches.

“Their achievement was not just technological,” Watson writes. “The sheer abundance of paper helped create a new raft of educated people. In some Middle Eastern schools in the ninth century, the paper was free.”


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