Filed under: Thurso Pulp Mill

Thurso Mill Boosts Fortress Paper’s Second Quarter

by on Aug 13th, 2010

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Thanks to their recent acquisition of a pulp mill in Thurso, Quebec, Vancouver-based Fortress Paper Ltd. is reporting an increase in adjusted second quarter profits.

Fortress purchased the nearly bankrupt mill from Fraser Papers Inc. in March with the intent of transforming it into a specialized dissolving pulp producer. Though some of the conversions have been started – three massive digesters are currently en route from Finland – Fortress found themselves in an early promising position on the heels of an earthquake in Chile and a strike in Sweden that had a noticeable effect on pulp prices around the world.

“The northern bleached hardwood kraft (NBHK) market, which was in a severe downturn, turned up,” wrote Tony Wanless, a writer for BC Business Magazine. “Suddenly, the plant that was closed because of low NBHK prices was turning a profit.”

In a press release issued earlier this week, Fortress said these higher pulp prices also led to increased costs at its German and Swiss mills, but were offset by “impressive sales and margin development” at the Thurso mill.

On the cusp of a full transition to dissolving pulp (expected in 2011), the specialty and security paper manufacturer is poised to continue capitalizing on this success. Once the conversion is complete, Fortress anticipates they will produce more than 200,000 tonnes of dissolving pulp annually. To date, 18,848 tonnes of NBHK pulp have been shipped from the Thurso mill.

For more information on the difference between dissolving pulp and NBHK pulp, read this article.

SOURCES:
Business In Vancouver: “Acquisition Boosts Profits For Security and Specialty Paper Producer”
Maclean’s: “Fortres Paper Reports Higher Net Income On Recently Acquired Cellulose Mill”
“Fortress Paper Announces Second Quarter 2010 Results”
BC Business Magazine: “Outside The Box Business Strategies”

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