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Norampac medium mill expected back on Sept. 29 after fire; Greenpac PM OK

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Norampac medium mill expected back on Sept. 29 after fire; Greenpac PM OK

September 26, 2014 - 11:26

OAKLAND, CA, Sept. 26, 2014 (PPI Pulp & Paper Week) -Norampac's new lightweight linerboard machine was down for four days this week, and its adjoining corrugating medium machine at Niagara Falls, NY, remained down and was expected to restart on Sept. 29, following a wind-swept fire that burned across two old corrugated container (OCC) stockpiles, and touched a building and equipment, contacts said.

In all, the fire destroyed 14,000 tons of OCC or about 2% of the material that the company consumes annually at the Niagara Falls complex.

Damage from the Sept. 20 fire was mostly on the Norampac side of the complex, where two machines run with about 315,000 tons/yr of corrugating medium capacity. Norampac also operates the Greenpac partnership machine, which started up in mid-2013 with capacity of 540,000 tons/yr for making lightweight linerboard.

"Production equipment at the Greenpac mill was not damaged during the fire and the mill is expected to resume normal production within next 48 hours," Cascades said on Sept. 23.

Contacts on Sept. 25 said the linerboard machine was running again. The medium PMs were to restart on Sept. 29.

The shut was longer at the Norampac mill because of "damage to the stock preparation equipment," the company and contacts said.

Despite the lost OCC, one supplier on Sept. 26 said: "I have not seen any upward pressure at all on OCC pricing."

The contact told of RockTenn being 'pretty full" at its large recycled-content containerboard mill in Syracuse, NY, and that Pratt Industries at its Staten Island, NY, mill eliminated "release" orders for OCC for the last week of September.

Another supplier said the Niagara Falls mill was well stocked before the fire and "it won't be a major issue to replace the OCC."

The suppliers were uncertain if the Niagara Falls shuts would affect October OCC pricing in the US Northeast, noting that Sept. 26 OCC pricing at the ports in New Jersey and New Jersey was at about $140 FAS, $5 more than the pricing as of Sept. 5, according to PPI Pulp & Paper Week. In the last four months, OCC is down $10-15/ton in the Northeast, mainly due to soft export demand from China.

The Niagara Falls mill fire began in an OCC pile that surrounds a conveyer that moves OCC to a pulper for the Greenpac PM. Strong winds then shot flames into the Norampac OCC stock, contacts said.

If the medium mill restarts on Sept. 29, the production loss would be an estimated 13,000 tons, with about 7,000 of medium (eight days) and 6,000 of lightweight linerboard (four days).

It's unclear what started the fire, the Cascades official said on Sept. 25.

Los Angeles and Long Beach portsreopened Sept. 24 after being closed for about a day by a Sept. 23 fire, contacts and media reports said. The two ports in San Pedro Bay -- the largest export location for US recovered paper -- were shut after a fire burned under a warehouse in the Port of Los Angeles in Wilmington, CA. More than 150 firefighters on water-spraying boats and divers with hoses fought the fire on berths 177 and 179 in a 40-acre area and contained it at about 8:30 PM on Sept. 22. The fire caused the collapse of about one-third of the 150-ft wharf. "The harbor is completely closed this morning and we are hopeful that it will open for night gate," said one contact, who called the shut "disastrous" for recovered paper exports.

Far West Fiberschanged its name toFar West Recycling. "Up until the early 2000s, paper accounted for almost all of the recyclables we processed, but today it represents just half of our volume. We've diversified into many different kinds of commodities and recyclables, from metals to Styrofoam, plastics, glass, and electronics, and we want our name to accurately reflect this evolution," said Far West Recycling pres/CEO Keith Ristau, in a release. With plants in Portland, Beaverton, and Hillsboro, OR, Far West processes 185,000 tons, and buys and sells more than 60,000 tons of paper each year, the company said.

Soundview PaperVP for Fiber William Schlenger will speak at theNew Jersey Paper Recycling Assn's (NJPRA) dinner meeting on Sept. 29 at the Il Villaggio restaurant in Carlstadt, NJ. His presentation is set for 7 PM. Attendance should be confirmed with NJPRA pres George Chen at 973-340-8003 orgttic@aol.com.