By Chris Lang. Published by World Rainforest Movement, December 2008
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Future plans for industrial tree plantation expansion and new pulp mills
As the information in the table below indicates, the pulp industry is planning a massive expansion in the global South. However, given the current crisis facing the world’s financial system, it is impossible to predict which of these projects will go ahead. A world recession would reduce the demand for paper and would mean that many of these projects will not get built – at least not in the time frame proposed by the companies.
The industry is concerned about overcapacity in China. Some mills are already not running at full capacity because of the financial crisis. Annie Zhu, Features Editor at Pulp and Paper International magazine reports that “it has become more and more difficult to secure bank loans or seek funding in the stock market to purchase machines amid the uncertain economy in China and the rest of the world.” Meanwhile, Jennifer Ellson, News Editor at Pulp and Paper International Asia News, describes the Asian pulp and paper industry as “another casualty of the credit crunch, the equities collapse and the global economic slowdown.” Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) and Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing have postponed previously announced expansion plans in China and Vietnam.
Projects elsewhere have been put on hold. Aracruz’s proposed 1.5 million tons a year pulp mill at Guaiba in Rio Grande do Sul is on hold, while Aracruz tries to save money. The company is likely to lose about US$1 billion as a result of its investment in derivatives.
At the same time, the industry continues to shrink in North America and Europe. Recent announcements of pulp mill closures include the following:
- Smurfit-Stone is to close its 253,000 tons a year Pontiac pulp mill in Quebec, resulting in 218 jobs lost.
- Evergreen Pulp Inc. is closing its pulp plant in Samoa, California, “until the pulp market rebounds”. Currently 215 people are employed at the plant.
- The Port & Talbot pulp mill in Mackenzie, British Columbia decided in October 2008 to remain closed “at least until spring or until economic conditions improve”.
- Borregaard is to close its 110,000 tons a year pulp mill in Switzerland, resulting in the loss of 450 jobs. The pulp mill is owned by the Norwegian group Orkla.
- Stora Enso will close part of its 655,000 tons a year Enocell pulp mill in eastern Finland, cutting back production by one-third and cutting 50 jobs.
- In October 2007, Stora Enso announced that it would cut 1,100 jobs in Finland. In 2008, Stora Enso plans to close pulp and paper mills in Anjalankoski, Hamina, Norrsundet and Kemijärvi in Finland.
- M-real, a subsidiary of the Metsäliitto Group, is to close its pulp mill in Lielahti, near Tampere and two magazine paper machines at its Kangas mill in Jyväskylä in Finland. About 200 workers will lose their jobs.
- In May 2006, UPM launched Finland’s largest ever lay-off programme, affecting 2,500 jobs over three years. UPM pulp mills in Kajaani and Tervassari in Finland are to be closed.
UPM’s president and chief executive, Jussi Pesonen recently summed up the situation for the pulp and paper industry in Europe: “With today’s market outlook and the recent cost development, UPM’s paper and pulp production in Finland cannot continue in its current form and extent.”
There is little doubt that the industry is moving from North to South. The most rapid expansion is planned for Brazil. The Brazil Pulp and Paper Association anticipates that Brazil will become the world leader of pulp production by 2012, with an annual production of 18 million tons. This year, Brazil will overtake Sweden (12 million tons) and in 2009 production in Brazil will probably be higher than that in Finland (13 million tons).
Other countries in Latin America, particularly Uruguay, are also facing a huge expansion in pulp capacity. A major expansion of the pulp industry in Russia is planned in the next few years. The impacts on forests in Russia could be devastating. In Asia, new pulp mills are proposed in Indonesia, Laos, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. The industry is also looking at expanding in Africa. Apart from South Africa, which already has a large pulp and paper industry, plantations are being established in Mozambique with the aim of providing raw material to the pulp industry and there are plans to build a pulp mill in Angola.
Planned pulp projects:
|Company||Location||Country||Capacity (t/yr)||Cost (US$)||Completion anticipated|
|Companhia de Celulose e Papel de Angola||Ganda||Angola||–||–||–|
|Gunns||Penola||Australia||800,000 – 1.1 million||1.3 billion||–|
|Aracruz||Rio Grande do Sul||Brazil||1.5 million||2.1 billion||2010 – currently postponed|
|Aracruz||Minas Gerais||Brazil||1.4 million||2.4 billion||2015|
|Suzano||Bahia||Brazil||2.9 million||6.6 billion||2015|
|VCP||Tres Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul||Brazil||1.3 million||1.5 billion||2009|
|VCP||Rio Grande do Sul||Brazil||1.3 million||–||2013|
|Stora Enso||Rio Grande do Sul||Brazil||1 million||–||2012-2015|
|APP China||Zhejiang||China||250,000||142 million||–|
|Oji Paper||Jiangsu||China||800,000||1.95 billion||2014|
|Zhanjiang Chenming||Guangdong||China||700,000||1.2 billion||2010|
|Stora Enso||Guangxi||China||1 million||–||–|
|Lee & Man||Chongqing||China||125,000||–||2008|
|Abhishek Industries||–||India||125,000||192 million||–|
|Century Pulp and Paper||Uttaranchal||India||150,000||–||2009|
|West Coast Paper Mills||Karnataka||India||230,000||260 million||2009|
|International Paper||Central Kalimantan, West Papua||Indonesia, West Papua||1.5 million||4 billion||–|
|Kaltim Prima Pulp & Paper||East Kalimantan||Indonesia||1.2 million||1.5 billion||–|
|UFS||South Kalimantan||Indonesia||600,000||1 billion||2010|
|PT Garuda Kaltim Lestari||West Kalimantan||Indonesia||1.2 million||–||–|
|Medco Group||West Papua||West Papua||–||–||–|
|Aditya Birla||Savannakhet||Laos||200,000||350,000 million||–|
|Shandong Sun Paper||–||Laos||300,000||–||–|
|Sabah Forest Industries||Sabah||Malaysia||125,000||–||–|
|Angara Paper Wood Chemical Plant||Yenisey||Russia||220,000||1.3 billion||2011|
|Aspek Group||Manturovo||Russia||800,000||3.1 billion||2010|
|Boguchanskiy P&P Mill||Boguchansk||Russia||730,000||3 billion||2011|
|Ilim Group / International Paper||Arkangelsk||Russia||–||423 million||–|
|Larvik Cell||Pskov||Russia||600,000||563 million||2009|
|Stora Enso||Nizhny Novgorod||Russia||–||1 billion||–|
|UPM and Sveza Group||Vologda||Russia||800,000||1 billion||2012|
|Sappi Saiccor||KwaZulu-Natal||South Africa||300,000||460 million||2008|
|NCT Forestry Cooperative||Richards Bay||South Africa||140,000||–||–|
|Celulosa Argentina||–||Uruguay||1 million||1 billion||2009|
|Ence||Colonia||Uruguay||1 million||930 million||2010|
|Portucel||–||Uruguay||1.3 million||4 billion||–|
|Stora Enso||–||Uruguay||1 million||1 billion||2012-2015|
|Lee & Man||200 km south of HCM City||Vietnam||150,000||–||2008-2009|
|Tan Mai Company||Quang Ngai||Vietnam||130,000||199 million||2011|
|Tan Mai Company||Lam Dong||Vietnam||200,000||36 million||2010|
|Tan Mai Company||Central Highlands||Vietnam||130,000||–||–|
|Incomex Saigon||Quang Nam||Vietnam||115,000||150 million||–|
|Ballapur Industries, Martin Group||Tuyen Quang||Vietnam||130,000||200 million||2009|
|Vietnam Paper Corporation (Vinapimex)||Bai Bang||Vietnam||250,000||300 million||2010|
 Annie Zhu (2008) “Opportunities and challenges in China”, RISI website, 23 September 2008.
 Jennifer Ellson (2008) “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, RISI website, 22 October 2008.
 “Aracruz suspends construction of new pulp mill in Guaiba”, Pulp Inc, 21 October 2008.
 “Smurfit-Stone to Permanently Close its Pontiac Pulp Mill Due to Weakening Pulp Market”, PR Newswire-FirstCall, 17 October 2008.
 “Humblodt pulp mill to close amid falling demand”, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 October 2008.
 Gordon Hamilton (2008) “Global crisis ends plans for B.C. pulp mill”, Vancouver Sun, 8 October 2008.
 “Borregaard intends to close pulp mill in Switzerland”, Ad Hoc News, 24 October 2008.
 “Orkla to close down pulp mill in Switzerland”, Reuters, 29 September 2008.
 “Stora to close pulp line at Enocell mill -report”, Reuters, 8 September 2008.
 “>a href=”http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUSL1057830920080117?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true”>Jobs arise from ashes of Finland forestry”, Reuters, 17 January 2008.
 Pertti Jokivuori (2007) “Massive job cuts due to restructuring in paper sector”, European Industrial Relations Observatory On-line (eiroline), 21 December 2007.
 “Kainuu reeling as paper companies announce closures”, Helsinki Times, 18 September 2008.
“Jobs arise from ashes of Finland forestry”, Reuters, 17 January 2008.
Pertti Jokivuori (2007) “Massive job cuts due to restructuring in paper sector”, European Industrial Relations Observatory On-line (eiroline), 21 December 2007.
 “Strikes hit UPM mills in Finland”, Packaging News, 16 September 2008.
 “Brazil expected to overtake China in pulp production by 2012”, Macau Hub, 10 September 2008.
 In April 2006, I carried out a review of publicly available statements about new pulp mills (largely based on a search on RISI’s website). This was updated and published in the report “Banks, Pulp and People”. This table is an updated version of the information that appeared in Banks, Pulp and People. Some of these projects are expansions of existing pulp mills and others are new pulp mills. The information is intended to be indicative rather than exhaustive. Plans change and many projects are announced which never leave the drawing board. Not all of the projects in the table have received planning permission. No guarantee can be given that the information in this table is complete or (obviously) that all (or any) of these projects actually will go ahead. See my bookmarks on delicious.com for sources.