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2010/36 (a)

Backgrounder

Government of Canada Supporting Environmental Improvements at Domtar Espanola


The Government of Canada’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program is laying the groundwork for a greener, more sustainable future for Canada’s pulp and paper sector by supporting smart investments that improve a mill’s environmental performance. This includes investments in technologies that enhance energy efficiency and the production of renewable energy.

Domtar Corporation, which formed in 2007 when Domtar combined with Weyerhaeuser’s fine paper business, comprises three business sections: paper manufacturing, paper merchants and wood products. Domtar is the largest integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America. In Canada, the company operates two paper mills in Espanola, Ontario, and Windsor, Quebec, and two pulp mills in Kamloops, B.C., and Dryden, Ontario.

In operation as a kraft facility since 1945, the Espanola mill was acquired by Domtar in 1998. The mill has two pulp lines producing softwood kraft and hardwood specialty kraft for internal and external use. The mill’s two specialty paper machines produce over 200 grades of technical and specialty papers.

The mill is a fully integrated facility; handling logs and chipped fibre (sourced from across northeastern and northcentral Ontario) through to finished pulp and paper production, as well as chemical recovery, chemical preparation, and water and effluent treatment.

Domtar’s capital improvement project at its Espanola mill is designed to realize a number of environmental efficiencies. The refurbished wood waste grinder will increase the volume of bark burned in the power boiler by almost 3,200 tonnes per year — displacing 864,000 cubic metres of natural gas consumption. In addition, by eliminating the need for a portable bark grinder, the mill is eliminating consumption of 250,000 litres of diesel fuel per year.

Displacing consumption of natural gas and reducing the consumption of diesel fuel are expected to reduce the mill’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 2,200 tonnes per year.

Projects such as this one demonstrate that strategic investments in technology help existing pulp and paper facilities reinforce their environmental and commercial sustainability.

How the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program Works

Thirty-eight pulp and paper mills across Canada, representing 24 companies, generated credits under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program based on their 2009 production levels of black liquor, a liquid by-product of the pulping process used to generate heat and power. Qualified companies are required to submit project proposals for their facilities and have until March 31, 2012, to apply the credits to environmental improvement projects. The program is working with these companies as they prepare their project proposals, and projects undergo environmental assessments.

Under the terms of the program, eligible firms can invest the credits generated at one mill in any of their pulp and paper facilities across Canada. Consequently, newsprint and pulp mills that did not generate credits could still benefit from this program.

This program does not limit funding recipients from seeking grants from provincial, municipal or other funding sources to help ensure they meet their environmental stewardship goals.

By investing in clean energy technologies, this program is helping the forest industry contribute to the growth of a domestic clean energy industry, creating and maintaining high-quality jobs for Canadians while helping to protect and preserve our environment.

More details about the program and its eligibility requirements are available at http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/pulp-paper-green-transformation.


Media may contact:

Mary-Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007 or
613-218-6961 (mobile)

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php.