Research & Innovation
What’s New… (December 01, 2006)
December 1, 2006 By Pulp & Paper Canada
RESEARCH COALITION TO STUDY BEETLE-KILLED TIMBER
VICTORIA, BC — The University of British Columbia is joining forces with the University of Victoria and the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada to establish a $6 million research lab to further research issues relating to wood quality.
According to a report by the Prince George Citizen, the lab will be called Evalu Tree, and will look at the ramifications of the mountain pine beetle on timber uses, and will seek to identify potential new uses for the wood.
“Evalu Tree has the potential to revolutionize B.C.’s forest industry,” the Citizen reported UNBC forestry professor Ian Hartley as saying.
NEW CONTAINERBOARD MILL COMES TO SCARBOROUGH
SCARBOROUGH, ON — New Forest is opening a new containerboard mill in Scarborough, ON.
New Forest, a joint venture shared by Atlantic Packaging and Mitchel-Lincoln Packaging, will use the mill for the recycling of used corrugated cartons collected in the Greater Toronto area, in order to make ‘millions of new corrugated cartons a day.’
The facility is the first new containerboard mill to be built in Canada in over a quarter century, and the largest single construction project in Metro Toronto in 2005-2006. The mill will churn out paper for millions of new corrugated cartons with the fibre equivalent of six million trees, and will slash the annual need for landfill by 11,000 trucks.
OFFERS COME IN FOR MEADOW LAKE PULP
MEADOW LAKE, SK — In what can arguably be referred to as a rare occurrence in Canada’s pulp and paper industry, two companies have made offers to buy the Meadow Lake Pulp mill.
According to a report by canada.com the provincial government may soon be in a position where it will be able to divest itself of financial involvement in the facility, as two prospective buyers are on the horizon.
“We’re pleased with the negotiations and how they’ve gone,” the mill’s lawyer, Conrad Hadubiak is reported as saying. “We feel we’re going to get a fair price for the assets.”
The report further confirmed the offers are still lacking some detail; however, at this point in time, those outstanding terms will not be made public.
The mill is a government Crown Corporation. Investment Saskatchewan owns a total of 50% of the facility; the remaining half belongs to Millar Western. As canada.com confirmed, a full purchase of the mill would be the desired outcome, however, there are other potential avenues open for exploration.
TAKING THE SASKATCHEWAN INDUSTRY TO TASK
MEADOW LAKE, SK — Nearly a year later, the Task Force on Forestry Development for the province of Saskatchewan has put forth its list of recommendations.
The panel was first established last year, when Prince Albert Pulp and Paper confirmed it would be closing down in April of this year. According to a report by Meadow Lake Progress, the task force came up with a total of 17 recommendations that covered the creation of an agroforestry industry, a forestry cluster that would emphasize engineered wood products, and the recognition of the value of non-timber forest products.
According to the report, Tom Waller, co-chair of the task force and forestry secretariat confirmed the panel was designed in order to improve the ‘overall health of the industry.’
“The focus needs to be put on the move to more value-added forestry,” Meadow Lake Progress reported him as saying. “It will help utilize the largest amount of the forestry resources we do have. With the downturn in the softwood deal with the States, and various other global factors affecting the industry, the task force took steps towards improving the industry over the long run.”
The report further confirmed Ty Rutzki, general manager for Mistik Management in MeadowLake as saying the panel could benefit from more industry representation.
“There was no one from the forest industry on the Task Force,” he said. “They had a good cross-section of people, but I believe not having a representative who works in the industry was a mistake.”
ABITIBI GOES HOME A WINNER
THOROLD, ON — Abitibi-Consolidated took home the bronze award at the 2006 Ontario Waste Minimization awards in the category of Waste Diversion Program Operator. The annual awards, hosted by the Recycling Council of Ontario, recognized Abitibi’s achievements over the last few years in waste reduction, and energy conservation at its newsprint mill in Thorold, ON, as well as its Paper Retriever program.
FINLAND A RECYCLING LEADER
FINLAND — The Finnish have proven themselves to be leaders in paper recovery and recycling. Roughly 70% of the paper consumed in the country is recovered. This translates to approximately 750,000 tonnes, which is then used as raw material, accounting for 5% of the country’s raw material fibre requirement. Additionally, a total of 95% of the commercial forest in Finland have been certified.
CATALYST RECOGNIZED FOR CARBON CONFESSIONS
VANCOUVER, BC — Catalyst’s environmental efforts have earned the company recognition by the Conference Board of Canada’s Carbon Disclosure Project -Canada 280 initiative.
The company’s success in scaling back its greenhouse gas emissions has been documented in a report released as part of the 280 Initiative.
The Carbon Disclosure Project, supported by a total of 225 institutional investors, surveyed more than 2,000 companies worldwide, in order to assess their reaction to the risks and opportunities linked to climate change. Catalyst was one of 280 Canadian companies that participated, and one of only 25 identified as leaders in the Conference Board report.
“We have been reducing greenhouse gas emissions for more than a decade, and have seen both environmental and financial benefits,” said Russell J. Horner, Catalyst president and CEO. “Beyond any new regulations that emerge, it’s a prudent risk management step and it puts us in good position to meet emerging market demands for carbon-neutral products.”
Companies that participated in the project were required to provide details on their carbon emissions, use of energy, and responses to the effect of climate change on their markets and regulatory environments.
$800M FOR COGENERATION
OTTAWA, ON — The Ontario Power Authority has signed contracts with seven high-efficiency cogeneration projects across Ontario.
The contracts are the culmination of the first phase of a competitive 1,000MW procurement process — the first of its kind in Canada, designed to take advantage of situations where larger industries or groups of users require both electricity and thermal energy for industrial use, heating or cooling.
The projects additionally represent a total capital investment of roughly $800 million and range in size from a 2MW-district energy project in Oshawa to a 236MW industrial application in Thorold.
“Developing more distributed energy such as these cogeneration projects is key to having a balanced, reliable and secure electricity system for Ontario,” Energy Minister Dwight Duncan said of the investment.
“The projects are diverse in type and location, providing electricity and efficient thermal energy to Ontario industry and communities,” said Paul Bradley, OPA vice president of electricity resources. “They represent the high efficiency we should be striving for in Ontario’s future power projects.”
QUEBEC ANNOUNCES $300M AID PACKAGE
MONTREAL, QC — It’s a lot of money, but it isn’t going exactly where some had hoped.
Jean Charest’s Liberal government pledged $300 million to help Quebec’s ailing forestry
industry, but the capital will not be directed to actual mills or Crown Land cutting fees. Rather, the funds will instead go to help retrain workers who have lost their jobs, to reforestation projects and to communities affected by mill closures.
The government also confirmed it will make available the previously announced $425 million fund to be used for mills to modernize their facilities.
“We must restructure our forestry sector and change the way we do things,” Reuters reported Quebec Premier Jean Charest as saying at a press conference in Trois-Rivires on October 20.
TEMISCAMING, QC — Tembec is splitting its pulp and paper group into two separate units.
The company made the announcement in conjunction with organizational changes. After 30 years of working at Tembec, executive vice president and COO, and president of the pulp and paper group Terrence P. Kavanagh has confirmed his intention to retire at the end of the year. He will remain available to the company on an advisory basis for the next two years.
Yvon Pelletier will assume the role of executive vice president and president for the newly defined pulp group, while Dan Alexander will have the same responsibilities for the paper group.
ALL THEY WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS…A CARDBOARD BOX?
Parents might feel a certain degree of financial relief this Christmas, when they head out to the stores in search of the perfect toy for their child. In fact, they might not have to deal with the shopping rush at all; the ever-elusive ideal present may already be in their very own home.
According to www.strongmuseum.org, the cardboard box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2005.
“Over the years, children sensed the possibilities inherent in cardboard boxes, recycling them into innumerable playthings,” www.strongmuseum.org reported. “The strength, light weight and easy availability that make cardboard boxes successful with industry have made them endlessly adaptable by children for creative play.”
The award established four, basic criteria for selection. The nominee must have a certain icon-status, longevity, it must be innovative, and foster learning, creativity or discovery. As the National Toy Hall of Fame noted, the cardboard box meets all of the above. “Inside a big cardboard box, a child is transported to a world of his or her own, one where anything is possible.”
QUEBEC EXPORTS SLOW
MONTREAL, QC — The overall value of Quebec’s provincial exports might be expected to grow by 2% this year, but the forestry sector isn’t contributing to that projection.
According to a report by Export Development Canada, the province’s forestry exports are expected to drop 7% in 2006, and 2% in 2007.
‘A number of challenges are common to all three sectors (lumber, pulp and paper/newsprint), mainly the higher value of the Canadian dollar, increasing energy costs and greater international competition. Overall, the sector will see exports decline primarily because of weaker fundamentals in the lumber industry and a continued deterioration of newsprint demand,’ the report concluded.
The anticipated 2% growth of Quebec’s provincial exports is a downturn from 2005. The forecast for 2007 suggests a further stalling, whereby exports are expected to shrink by 1% overall.
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