Pulp and Paper

Red Leaf Pulp

Red Leaf Pulp to Build $350 Million Wheat Straw Pulp Mill in Regina, Saskatchewan

June 3, 2021 - Red Leaf Pulp Ltd., developer of a proprietary wheat straw-based pulp mill, announced that it will locate its initial facility in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. The company has secured properties on the west side of the City of Regina and will begin construction of the $350 million facility in early 2022.

The initial plant will have the capacity to produce approximately 182,000 tonnes of market pulp annually from waste wheat straw collected and aggregated from local producers.

According to Red Leaf, the new facility is expected to create 110 permanent full-time jobs, and 250 jobs during construction.

"Red Leaf is delighted to be locating in Regina and we look forward to working with the community, local businesses and the region's growers. Our project provides an opportunity to enhance the utilization of existing resources and diversify revenue sources in the ag-industry while creating a lower carbon future." said Martin Pudlas, CEO of Red Leaf Pulp.

"We want to thank communities across Saskatchewan for their support, interest and assistance during the location evaluation process. Ultimately Regina's proximity to major infrastructure and a significant workforce were key considerations in our choice for the initial plant site," Pudlas said.

Regina Mayor Sandra Masters commented, "I am very pleased Red Leaf has chosen to locate Canada's first non-wood pulp mill in Regina. This facility allows our City continued diversified growth in the urban-agricultural economy. It will highlight innovation in one of our core industries, maximize crop value in an environmentally sustainable way and provide valuable jobs in the low carbon energy sector. This is exciting news for Regina and our Province."

John Lee, CEO of Economic Development Regina, added, "More than ever, Regina is becoming the epicentre of a sustainable, value-added agriculture economy. We're proud to have worked closely with Red Leaf throughout this process and we are excited to welcome them to the region. Red Leaf's announcement means new jobs for Regina citizens and new opportunities for Regina businesses."

About Red Leaf Pulp Ltd.

Red Leaf Pulp is developing the first non-wood pulp mill in Canada, producing a unique unbleached product. Red Leaf was established in 2019 by Darby Kreitz, the founder of Allnorth Consultants, a 500-person engineering firm with offices across Canada and in Atlanta, Georgia. Allnorth has significant experience in the design and commissioning of non-wood pulp mills in the United States and Europe, in addition to 26 years providing engineering services to the conventional wood pulp and paper industry. To learn more, visit: www.redleafpulp.com.

SOURCE: Red Leaf Pulp Ltd.



Finnpulp Calls for Annulment of the Supreme Administrative Court's Decision

June 1, 2021 (Press Release) - Finnpulp Oy, which is planning a bioproduct mill project in Kuopio, Finland, has submitted an application for annulment to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) on May 25, 2021. Finnpulp calls for the annulment of a negative decision on the environmental permit of the mill project and the immediate granting of an environmental permit, mainly under permit conditions approved by a minority of the SAC, or at least a review of the matter.

In the company's view, the SAC's decision of 19 December 2019 on the environmental permit confirmed by the Vaasa Administrative Court was based on a procedural error related to hearing and possible temporary nature of the permit, as well as on misinterpretation of the Environmental Protection Act concerning the concept of uncertainty.

Finnpulp's CEO Martti Fredrikson says that the company has concluded a new pre-agreement on the mill site with the City of Kuopio.

The planned bioproduct mill will produce 1.2 million tonnes coniferous pulp per year and significant amounts of biochemicals and bioelectric power. According to Fredrikson, the extra heat generated by the bioproduct mill from renewable raw materials could also serve nearby communities.

The estimated cost is EUR 1.6 billion. During the construction phase, it will provide 6,000 man-years of work, and when completed, the plant will bring in a total of 3,400 jobs.

Finnpulp is a special purpose company solely founded to manage the investment of a new softwood pulp mill in Finland. To learn more, please visit: www.finnpulp.com.

SOURCE: Finnpulp Oy

Read a related story at PaperAge: Finnpulp Director Says Preparation Will Continue for Proposed Bioproduct Mill in Kuopio, Finland - Oct. 9, 2020.



Global Trade of Wood Chips Increased by Almost 50% from 2009 to 2020

May 19, 2021 - Global trade of wood chips, which are mainly used by pulp mills, grew from about 21 million tons in 2009 to an all-time high of 35 million tons in 2018, according to Wood Resource Quarterly. Subsequently, trade declined for two consecutive years to reach just over 30 million tons in 2020. Significant investments in new pulp capacity in China combined with a lack of domestic wood fiber have been driving practically all of the global increase in wood chip trade during the past decade.

Outside of China, the trade of wood chips has been relatively stable the past ten years, ranging between 20-21 million tons annually, except for 2020, when total shipments fell to just under 17 million tons (see chart).

global trade wood chips

Hardwood chip imports to China reached a new record high of 13.2 million odmt in 2020. This was a 7% increase from the previous year and continued an unprecedented upward trend that started in 2008 when China imported only one million odmt. Although China overtook Japan as the largest hardwood chip importer five years ago, 2020 was the first year when over 50% of the world's traded hardwood chips landed at Chinese ports to feed large, newly built pulp mills in the country.

There were some dramatic changes in Chinese fiber sourcing during 2020, with Australia's shipments falling almost 30% y-o-y and the largest supplier, Vietnam, increasing its sales by 25%. Over the past two years, Chinese pulp mills shifted from importing higher yield fiber quality (HYF) from regions such as Australia, Chile, and Brazil towards lower yield fiber (LYF), from places like Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. The HYF chips would typically be Eucalyptus chips with higher density, often requiring less chemicals in the pulping process.

When the investments in large-scale pulp mills took off in 2008, the preferred wood fiber was predominantly lower quality and lower cost, including Acacia wood chips from Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. Nevertheless, that started to change in 2013-2014 when pulp mills saw the cost and quality benefits of using more high-quality hardwood chips such as Eucalyptus Nitens and Eucalyptus Globulus from Australia and Chile. From 2012 to 2017, the HYF share of total imports dramatically increased from 11% to 47% of the total import volume. However, in 2018, this five-year rise in market share leveled off and fell during 2019 and 2020 to average only 33% in the 4Q/20.

With the supply of hardwood fiber becoming tighter around the Pacific Rim, the fiber sourcing by Chinese pulp mills will likely continue to evolve, including the possibility of new regions coming into play.

Wood Resource Quarterly is published by Wood Resources International, an internationally recognized forest industry consulting firm. For further information visit: www.woodprices.com.

SOURCE: Wood Resources International LLC



Suzano to Build 2.3 Million Tons per Year Pulp Mill in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

May 12, 2021 - Suzano today announced that its Board of Directors approved a capital investment BRL 14.7 billion (approx. USD 2.87 billion) for the construction of a new pulp mill to be located in the municipality of Ribas do Rio Pardo, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

The proposed pulp mill, referred to by the company as the "Cerrado Project", will have the capacity to produce 2.3 million (two million and three hundred thousand) tons per year of eucalyptus pulp.

Suzano said the funds for the project will distributed between the years of 2021 and 2024, and estimates that the new plant will start operating in the first quarter of 2024.

The approval and the effective execution of the Cerrado Project are subject to:

(i) the Company's commitment to financial discipline, maintaining compliance with the parameters established in the Suzano's Debt Management Policy; and

(ii) the conclusion of the negotiation of the acquisition of the equipment and services necessary to carry out the project, under satisfactory conditions, to be subsequently evaluated and resolved by the Board of Directors.

Suzano said the project will be financed by the company's cash position and cash generation from current businesses, which can be complemented by financing, provided that the conditions are attractive in terms of cost and term.

In a written statement, Suzano said, "The Cerrado Project represents an important advance in the company's long-term strategy, contributing to the expansion of its structural competitiveness, meeting the growing demand for hardwood pulp and Suzano's evolution in sustainability — especially with regard to climate and waste, providing a major carbon capture increase arising from the new forest base.

"In addition, the new plant will have a surplus capacity for renewable energy generation of approximately 180 MW average, and is also considered in the industry as free from fossil fuel — a new milestone for Suzano in eco-efficiency that shows its commitment to society and the planet."

Suzano is one of the largest integrated eucalyptus pulp and paper producers in Latin America. With operations in nearly 60 countries, Suzano is the world's second largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, one of the ten largest producers of market pulp, and the regional market leader in paper for domestic and commercial use.

SOURCE: Suzano S.A.


Domtar - paper rolls

Paper Excellence Enters Into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Domtar in $3 Billion Deal

(All financial information is in U.S. Dollars)

May 11, 2021 - Paper Excellence and Domtar today announced that they have entered into a strategic business combination under which the Paper Excellence group of companies will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Domtar common stock for $55.50 per share, in cash.

The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 37% to Domtar’s closing share price on May 3, 2021, the last trading day prior to the Domtar’s statement responding to media reports regarding a potential business combination between Domtar and Paper Excellence, and a premium of approximately 44% to the 30-day volume-weighted average price as of May 3, 2021.

The all-cash transaction represents an enterprise value of approximately $3.0 billion.

After the transaction closes, Paper Excellence intends to continue the operations of Domtar as a stand-alone business entity. As such, Domtar will continue to be led by its management team and Paper Excellence plans to retain its corporate and production locations.

Joe Ragan, Global Chief Financial Officer of Paper Excellence, commented, “We are excited to add Domtar and its employees to the Paper Excellence global family. This marks a major step in our global strategy of identifying well-positioned assets and positioning them for growth.  Domtar is a natural fit for our culture of operational excellence. We are enthusiastic about entering the American market as we continually improve Paper Excellence’s ability to serve its expanding blue-chip customer base.”

“We have long admired Domtar’s expansive global footprint and believe that it will be a valuable addition to Paper Excellence. We look forward to investing in Domtar’s assets and people for long-term growth,” concluded Mr. Ragan.

“This agreement enables our shareholders to realize certain and immediate cash value at a significant premium for their shares,” said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar. “This transaction validates our long-term strategic plan for our leading paper and pulp businesses, and for our continued expansion into packaging.”

“Our dedicated employees have been instrumental to Domtar’s success and I am glad to see that this transaction supports the strategy that our team has worked so hard to develop over the last several years,” continued Mr. Williams. “As part of Paper Excellence, we will build on that momentum.”

The agreement has been unanimously approved by the Domtar Board of Directors. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to Domtar shareholder approval, receipt of the required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

About Domtar

Domtar is a leading provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products including communication, specialty and packaging papers, market pulp and airlaid nonwovens. With approximately 6,400 employees serving more than 50 countries around the world, Domtar is driven by a commitment to turn sustainable wood fiber into useful products that people rely on every day. Domtar’s annual sales are approximately $3.7 billion, and its common stock is traded on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Domtar’s principal executive office is in Fort Mill, South Carolina. To learn more, visit: www.domtar.com.

Paper Excellence, headquartered in British Columbia, is a manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers. The company operates seven mills and a large-scale cargo distribution centre in Canada producing and shipping over 2.8 million tonnes annually with a workforce of more than 2,800. To learn more, visit: www.paperexcellence.com.

SOURCE: paper Excellence

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