News | June 2016

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Forest Products Group Promotes 30 by 30

The Canadian forest products industry is pledging to help Canada move to a low-carbon economy by removing 30 megatonnes (MT) of CO2 per year by 2030—more than 13% of the Canadian government’s emissions target.

The “30 by 30” Climate Change Challenge was issued by the Forest Products Assn. of Canada (FPAC), making the forest sector the first to voluntarily contribute to the federal government’s climate goals. Canada has signed the Paris agreement on climate change and is now promising to reduce emissions by 30%, the equivalent of cutting 225 MT of CO2 a year by 2030.

“Our industry is uniquely position­ed to be a crucial part of the solution to climate change because our renewable forests and forest products all store carbon,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC. “We want to step up to the plate and do our part to help Canada reach its ambitious targets.”

The sector has calculated the 30MT can be reached by such measures as forest management practices that can maximize carbon stor­age in the forest and spur the growth of trees, by increasing the use of innovative forest products and clean tech to displace materials made from fossil fuels, and by further efficiencies at mill sites.

FPAC is now working hard on a detailed road map to flesh out the details on how it intends to meet the Climate Change Challenge. For more details on the challenge go to

Weyerhaeuser To Sell Five Pulp Mills

Weyerhaeuser is selling its cellulose fibers pulp mills to Interna­tional Paper for $2.2 billion in cash. The transaction includes five pulp mills located in Columbus, Miss.; Flint River, Ga.; New Bern, NC; Port Wentworth, Ga.; and Grande Prairie, Alberta, with a combined capacity of nearly 1.9 million metric tons. The sale also includes two modi­fied fiber mills in Columbus, Miss. and Gdansk, Poland.

The transaction does not include Weyerhaeuser’s liquid packaging board facility or newsprint and publishing papers joint-venture. Weyerhaeuser’s review of those assets is ongoing.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory review and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Sun Paper Plans Biorefinery Plant

Sun Paper will invest more than $1 billion to build a biorefinery mill in Arkadelphia (Clark County), Ark. Hongxin Li, chairman and founder of Sun Paper, joined Governor Hutchinson for the announcement in the Governor’s Conference Room at the Arkansas State Capitol. This will be the company’s first facility in North America.

During a trade mission to Asia in November, Governor Hutchinson and Chairman Li signed a letter of intent of investment cooperation in which Sun Paper committed to studying the feasibility of building the facility in South Arkansas.

“The fact Sun Paper is investing more than $1 billion in south Arkansas speaks volumes of their confidence in our workforce and pro-business environment,” Hutchinson says. “This is among the largest private investments in the state’s history.”

Headquartered in China’s Shandong Province, Sun Paper is one of the world’s top pulp and paper makers and employs 10,000 worldwide.

Vermont Supports Wood Heating

Vermont Dept. of Public Service (DPS) has awarded $913,054 from the Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) to increase the demand and supply for local wood heat. The CEDF awarded 11 grants to schools and affordable housing projects across the State to install advanced wood heating systems and five grants to increase the supply infrastructure of wood pellets.

 The heating systems are projected to eliminate the use of roughly 124,000 gallons of fossil fuel annually, bringing the state closer to its goal of meeting 30% of Vermont’s space heating needs with renewable energy by 2025.

“Even with today’s low oil prices we are seeing an increased interest in switching to local bulk pellets,” says Andrew Perchlik, CEDF Director.

Helen Oy To Build Pellet Heating Plant

Valmet will supply a wood pellet heating plant to Helen Oy’s Salmisaari power plant. The pellet plant will enable Helen to increase the use of biofuels in district heat production in Helsinki. The new plant helps the city of Helsinki to meet its aim of increasing its production of renewable energy. The startup of plant is expected at the beginning of 2018.

“Utilization of wood pellets as fuel increases the use of domestic renewable fuels in energy production and creates jobs in raw material sourcing and transport. The heating plant also supports Helen’s goals of climate-neutral production,” says Heikki Hapuli, Director, Production and Distribution at Helen Oy.

Valmet’s delivery includes fuel conveyors from the existing storage silos, wood pellet grinding and the wood dust equipment, hot water boiler and flue gas cleaning by way of a bag hose filter. In addition, Valmet will supply the plant construction, electrification and a Valmet DNA automation system. Helen will be in charge of the construction of the foundation.

The district heating capacity of the plant will be 92 MW.

Morbark Names Ruskin New CEO

Morbark appointed Dan Ruskin as its CEO following the announcement of the sale of Morbark to Stellex Capital Management, a private equity manager.

“Dan is an excellent fit for Morbark,” says Ray Whiteman, chairman of the Morbark Board of Directors and managing partner of Stellex Capital Management. “We have known Dan for close to 20 years and his experience across multiple industries, in particular industrial markets such as heavy equipment, automotive, truck and transport vehicles, have prepared him well for this position. One of Dan’s core strengths is his ability to build strong teams that can help organizations quickly meet their goals and enhance their profitability.”

The acquisition is focused on providing growth capital and resources to significantly expand the company, according to a statement.

Lon Morey, Morbark CEO and son of the late founder, Norval Morey, comments, “Though always difficult to leave a family business, we felt this was the right time with the right investor who can build on the legacy my father started and I have spent my entire life dedicated to.”

Morbark will remain in Winn, Mich., where it started in 1957 and which today is home to headquarters and manufacturing facilities.

The company has no plans to relocate. Current officers, President Jim Shoemaker and VP of Sales and Marketing John Foote, will continue in their positions.

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