U.S. Printing-Writing Paper Shipments, Containerboard Production, Up Again in January
Total U.S. printing-writing paper shipments to December 2009, and the daily average percent
increased 9% in January compared to January 2009 change was up 1.1%, the report showed.
— the third consecutive year-ago increase, accord- Operating rates for January 2010 rose 15.3
ing to the American Forest & Paper Association’s points to 93.1% over January 2009.
January 2010 Printing-Writing Paper Report. Linerboard. Linerboard production also saw
The report showed that three of the four a large increase over last year, rising 14.1% from
major printing-writing grades recorded double- January 2009. The current linerboard produc-
digit growth when compared to 2009. tion saw a slight increase compared to December
U.S. purchases (shipments + imports - exports) 2009 and the daily average rose 1.5%. Once again
of printing-writing papers also increased in January, production for exports showed a substantial
up 4% versus year-ago January, AF&PA said. increase of 72.4% over this time last year, but was
Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased down 11.7% compared to December 2009, AF&PA said.
9,800 tons from December — an increase of 1%. Linerboard’s January operating rate mirrors the rise, increas-
Some additional highlights from AF&PA’s report include: ing 15.0 points to 92.5%.
uncoated free sheet shipments up versus year-ago for second Medium. Medium production in January 2010 was up 88,600
consecutive month; coated free sheet shipments hit double-digit tons or 12.9% from same month last year. Production was flat com-
growth versus year-ago for second month; year-ago shipments pared to December 2009, which was reflected in the daily average
of coated mechanical reaches double-digit growth for third percent change which rose just 0.1%. Exports as well, showed a
consecutive month; and uncoated mechanical shipments surge sizeable increase, posting a 33.2% growth over January 2009.
compared to last January. The January medium operating rate showed the largest gain
Containerboard. According to AF&PA’s January 2010 U.S. increasing 16.3 points over January 2009.
Containerboard Statistics Report, total containerboard pro- NOTE: The operating rates and capacity for January 2010
duction increased sharply, up 335,500 tons, or 13.8%, when have been adjusted to reflect the permanent closure of the
compared to January 2009. This follows an upward trend set in following Smurfit-Stone Container mills; Missoula, Montana and
December 2009. Ontonagon, Michigan. The data have been prorated to account
Containerboard production in January increased compared for the number of operating days in January.
White Birch Paper Files for Creditor Protection in Canada, U.S.
White Birch Paper Company and its valued customers, and through this finan-
subsidiaries in late February filed for cial restructuring, we believe we will be
creditor protection in Canada under the better positioned to continue to do so well
Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. into the future.”
White Birch’s U.S. subsidiary, Bear At press-time, the company is seek-
Island Paper Company, also filed a volun- ing approval in Canada and the U.S. of
tary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of a $140 million in debtor-in-possession
the United States Bankruptcy Code in the (DIP) financing with certain of its lenders,
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District which White Birch expects will provide
of Virginia. more than adequate liquidity during the restructuring.
The Greenwich, Conn.-based newsprint producer said that it The filing comes after a year of challenging economic condi-
intends to continue to work with its lenders toward a financial tions, coupled with a decline in demand for newsprint, weak
restructuring as expeditiously as possible. pricing, and the increased strength of the Canadian dollar.
“This process is about fixing our capital structure,” said White Birch Paper Company is the second largest newsprint
Christopher Brant, White Birch’s president. “We remain com- manufacturer in North America with operations in both Canada
mitted to delivering the highest quality product to our many and the United States.
6 MARCH/APRIL 2010 PaperAge
Longview Fibre to Build Biomass Boiler Pactiv to Acquire PWP Industries for $200 Million
Longview Fibre Paper Pactiv said that it has agreed to acquire the stock of PWP
and Packaging said that Industries. PWP is a manufacturer of APET (amorphous poly-
it plans to construct a ethylene terephthalate) disposable products.
650,000-pound-per- The purchase price is $200 million. PWP’s 2009 sales were
hour steam biomass approximately $140 million.
boiler and 65 megawatt PWP primarily manufactures a range of APET foodservice
condensing turbine at its containers for several channels, including packer processor bak-
pulp and paper mill in Longview, Washington. eries, supermarkets, and quick service restaurants. PWP oper-
“We are investing in our infrastructure at the mill,” said ates three manufacturing facilities in the United States, as well
Randy Nebel, president of Longview. “This project will support as a facility that processes post consumer PET. The company
our goals to use biomass-based energy, improve efficiencies and employs approximately 600 people.
solidify the long-term viability of the business.” The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.
Longview said that the new biomass boiler is based on fluid-
ized bed technology and will consume an estimated 38,000 bone Wausau Paper Slates $27 Million for
dry tons per month of biomass. Machine Rebuild
In addition, the electricity generated will qualify as green Wausau Paper’s Board of Directors approved a $27 million
power, Longview added. capital investment to provide tape-backing paper production
The company anticipates project completion and startup dur- capabilities at the company’s mill in Brainerd, Minn.
ing the third quarter of 2011. Scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2011, the
rebuilt machine will utilize state-of-the-art technology to pro-
duce a wide range of unsaturated tape-backing paper — the
UNITED KINGDOM base stock used to produce masking tape — while retaining the
Bridgewater Paper Employees Face flexibility to produce premium printing and writing products,
Uncertain Future Wausau said.
“Once complete, the rebuild will equip us with one of the most
Almost all of the employees at AbitibiBowater’s UK-based
advanced and cost-effective unsaturated tape-backing machines in
subsidiary Bridgewater Paper Company (BPCL) have been
the world, enabling us to further penetrate this highly specialized
temporarily laid off following the mill’s move into admin-
market,” said Thomas J. Howatt, president and CEO.
The 220,000 tons per year recycled newsprint mill shut-
Archant Agrees to Buy Year-worth of
down production on Feb. 2 when the company filed for
Newsprint from Palm Paper
administration in the UK.
The mill employs 300 people — 271 of which have been UK media giant Archant
temporarily laid off. said that it has signed a
Tom Jack, an administrator of Ernst & Young, the firm contract with Palm Paper
appointed to oversee the situation, said, “We are holding that calls for its Archant
discussions with a number of potential interested parties Print division to buy all
and are continuing to fulfill customer orders from stock 30,000 tons of newsprint
while the sale of the business process continues.” it uses in a year.
An online news story by Printweek reported that a Archant said the deal works well logistically because the new
spokeswoman for Ernst & Young indicated that it was too Palm Paper King’s Lynn newsprint mill, which started up in
early to know how long the staff would be laid off. The August 2009, is only 50 miles down the road from Archant’s
spokeswoman said the mill had “traded at a loss for some printing facilities.
time” and “the business could no longer meet its debts as Palm Paper’s King’s Lynn mill has the capacity to produce
they fell due.” 400,000 tons of newsprint per year on PM 7, which is a Voith-
8 MARCH/APRIL 2010 PaperAge
Pulp Imports to China Up Slightly in Stora Enso to Idle Newsprint Machine at
December, Up Sharply Y/Y Varkaus
China in December Stora Enso plans to curtail newsprint production on PM 2 at the
2009 imported one company’s Varkaus mill in Finland, resulting in temporary lay-
million metric tons of offs of about 90 workers.
pulp, an increase of Stora Enso blamed the shutdown on weak market conditions.
40,000 m/tons compared The company said newsprint production at Varkaus would be
to November 2009, concentrated on PM 4 by adjusting its operating rates.
according to China’s
General Administration UPM to Cut 200 Mill Employees in Finland
of Customs. UPM plans to cut 200 employees at its pulp and paper mills
For the year (Jan. - Dec. 2009), pulp imports rose 44% or Kaukas in Lappeenranta and Kymi in Kouvola, Finland.
13.68 million tons, versus 2008. The company expects to trim about 100 workers at each mill.
Paper and Paperboard. China also imported 310,000 tons of The Kaukas mill produces coated magazine papers, while the
paper and paperboard in December, and increase of 40,000 tons Kymi mill makes coated and uncoated woodfree fine papers.
over November figures. “The purpose of the planned restructuring is significant
In 2009, paper and paperboard imports decreased 6% to 3.31 improvement in cost competitiveness and productivity also in
million tons compared to2008, the Administration said. the long term,” said Arto Lampinen, senior vice president from
Paper Business Group, Manufacturing.
The company said it is taking measures to improve competi-
SOUTH AMERICA tiveness through more flexible and cost-efficient ways to oper-
Stora Enso, Arauco, JV May Build Pulp ate, including increasing cooperation between production and
Mill in Uruguay maintenance and between other departments.
Stora Enso’s and Arauco’s joint-venture company in After the planned restructuring, the number of employees at
Uruguay, Montes del Plata, has decided to initiate a feasibil- the Kaukas mill will be about 700 and at the Kymi mill about
ity study on Punta Pereira as the site for a possible future 600 by the end of 2010, the company said.
Punta Pereira was also the site chosen for Spanish pulp INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS
maker ENCE’s planned pulp mill. Stora Enso and Arauco
PPC and NAPA Merge
acquired the majority of ENCE’s operations in Uruguay in
October 2009. The Paperboard Packaging
According to Stora Enso, studies prepared by Montes Council (PPC) and the North
del Plata show that Punta Pereira, in the Department of American Packaging Association
Colonia, is a promising location for the possible pulp mill, (NAPA) have merged.
justifying further detailed economic, technical, environmen- The new association will move forward as the Paperboard
tal and social studies. Packaging Council, offering expanded member benefits and a
“We have come out with a decision which is based on strengthened industry voice.
our preliminary economic, operational and environmental “This is one of the most historic, extremely significant
findings. The identification of Punta Pereira will allow us moments in PPC’s eighty-plus year history,” said PPC Board
to proceed to the next phase — a detailed feasibility study,” Chair Tony Petrelli. “This merger expands and enhances the
said Jouko Karvinen, Stora Enso’s CEO. work, resources, and impact of our association at a critical time
The final decision on construction of the new pulp mill in the packaging industry.”
will be taken by the Boards of Directors of Stora Enso, The merger brings together nearly 200 leading paperboard
Arauco and Montes del Plata once the feasibility study is packaging industry companies, creating a unique set of new
completed, the company said. opportunities for industry converters and suppliers.
The merger became effective February 19.
PaperAge M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 0 9
Pulp, Paper Producers Worldwide Using More Biomass for Energy
Over the past few years, there has been a rapid, worldwide As a percentage of total energy usage, the share of energy
expansion in the consumption of renewable energy by the pulp generated from biomass has, on a global basis, increased from
and paper industry, says Hakan Ekstrom of Wood Resources 16% in 2006 to 18% in 2009.
International (WRI). Norway and Sweden took the lead in biomass usage at 42%
“Numerous pulp and paper plants have made the strategic deci- and 38%, respectively, followed by Canada, Brazil and New
sion to invest in the equipment needed to make the switch from Zealand.
fossil fuels to woody biomass fuels,” Ekstrom said. “Global con- At the other end of the spectrum are China, Australia, Japan,
sumption of biomass increased by 51% between 2006 and 2009.” Spain and Germany, all of which are countries where the pulp
Wood Resource Quarterly, published by WRI, reported that mills on average used less than 10% renewable energy at their
the annual consumption of biomass used for energy generation plants last year.
by the global pulp industry in 2009 was an estimated 75 million Another interesting development, Ekstrom said, is that with
tons, equivalent to approximately 1400 TBTU (trillion British the increased usage of bark and wood fiber for energy, pulp mills
Thermal Unit). While the biggest increases have occurred in have expanded their external sourcing of the biomass.
Latin America and Asia/Oceania, mills in North America and “In 2006, 53% woody biomass was purchased in the open
Europe are still the largest users of biomass material. market. In 2009, this share had increased to 69%. Pulp and paper
Not surprisingly, the leading biomass-consuming countries mills in Latin America and Asia/Oceania were generally less
by volume are regions with large areas of forests, including reliant on purchased biomass than plants in Europe and North
Canada, the US, Brazil and Sweden. Perhaps somewhat unex- America,” Ekstrom noted.
pectedly, pulp mills in Finland, New Zealand, Australia, France
and Germany have consumed fairly small volumes of biomass Weyerhaeuser, Mitsubishi to Explore
up until now, the report said. Bio-pellet Production in U.S.
FOEX: PIX BENCHMARK INDEXES (per metric ton)
and Mitsubishi Corp.
DATE NBSK in
recently signed a Strategic
in the U.S.
Memorandum of Under-
(U.S. dollars) EUR EUR standing (MOU) to explore
02-Mar-10 875.23 540.76 637.66 656.47 769.61 the possibilities of collabo-
09-Feb-10 870.36 533.56 637.98 658.45 770.76 rating in the biomass-to-
12-Jan-10 840.00 509.02 665.53 669.32 771.23 energy business.
08-Dec-09 826.19 509.82 665.87 671.94 773.55
The companies are specifically interested in assessing the
11-Nov-09 818.14 488.14 672.48 674.64 772.18
feasibility of jointly investing in and operating a commercial-
13-Oct-09 779.77 467.58 671.48 676.27 779.90
15-Sep-09 759.77 455.77 679.33 681.37 793.61 scale bio-pellet production facility in the U.S. by 2011,
18-Aug-09 719.52 457.56 684.71 686.63 799.44 Weyerhaeuser said.
14-Jul-09 684.23 492.91 694.04 693.60 807.46 Depending on the success of the joint feasibility study, more
16-Jun-09 654.87 550.19 697.87 695.71 810.00 facilities could follow in addition to the initial production facil-
05-May-09 645.75 664.76 696.45 693.61 816.25
ity, Weyerhaeuser added.
07-Apr-09 651.78 675.09 696.33 697.63 817.45
Bio-pellets would be produced using wood-based biomass,
NBSK: long-fiber northern bleached softwood kraft pulp. targeted from U.S.-sourced sustainably managed forest resources
LWC: Light-weight coated magazine paper (60-gram offset reels).
or by-products and sold to utilities and industrial users for energy
Coated WF: Coated woodfree paper (100-gram reels).
A4 B-copy paper: A4-sized sheeted standard-grade copy paper (80 grams per sheet).
production, Weyerhaeuser said.
ABOUT PIX PRICES: FOEX (www.foex.fi) PIX indexes are benchmark price indexes for various qualities
Mitsubishi currently operates two bio-pellet facilities in Japan
of pulp and paper. They measure weekly the market price of the pulp or paper in question. FOEX and is also actively involved in the management of Vis Nova
receives real trade information from parties in the pulp and paper industry, from buyers, sellers as well
as from agents. The highest 10% and the lowest 10% of the prices are eliminated, and the PIX value Trading GmbH, a major producer of bio-pellets in Germany.
is calculated as an average price from the remaining prices.
10 MARCH/APRIL 2010 PaperAge
Stora Enso, Domtar, Metso in Pulp Mill
Biorefinery Technology Project
Stora Enso, Domtar and Metso
have entered a research and
agreement to establish a con-
sortium to develop a pulp mill
The project, based on the
latest pulping technology,
will focus on developing a
pulp production process with
enhanced sustainability and
cost efficiency, as well as lower investment costs.
“We see promising opportunities for a breakthrough in sus-
tainable chemical pulping technology,” said Jukka Kilpelainen,
senior vice president, group R&D at Stora Enso.
“The new major innovations will give stronger fiber and
improve the pulping yield. The innovations will also enable mal-
odorous gases to be eliminated and increase the energy efficiency
of the pulp production process,” Kilpelainen said.
The project is expected to take several years.
Rick Colvin, at 54, Longtime Kaolin
Rick Colvin, 54, of Milledgeville Georgia, passed away on
January 21 at Trinity Hospital in Augusta, Georgia after a very
brief and sudden illness.
Rick worked in the kaolin industry for 32 years during
which he became widely respected and, importantly, a friend
to many. During his fine career, Rick worked for Engelhard,
Nord, Dry Branch Kaolin, and Thiele Kaolin.
Rick served on the Paper Industry Management Association
(PIMA) Board of Directors and was the 2007-2008 Affiliate
Chairman. In 2004, he was the recipient of PIMA’s Thomas F.
Sheerin Service Award, which is presented to a supplier for
outstanding contributions to the pulp and paper industry and/
or the community.
Before his untimely death, Rick worked as a consultant
In gratitude to all his contributions to the industry and will-
ingness to always help others, the Georgia Mining Foundation
has established a scholarship fund in his memory.
The Georgia Mining Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) and contri-
butions are tax deductible. Please include a note referencing
“Rick Colvin Scholarship Fund” with your check payable to:
Georgia Mining Foundation, c/o Georgia Mining Association
Office, 113 Arkwright Landing, Macon, GA 31210.
PaperAge M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 0 11