Miramichi Mill Sold to Norwegian Solar Energy Firm

Jan. 16, 2009 - UPM yesterday said that it has sold its former paper mill and related assets in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada, to Umoe Solar AS of Norway.

The sale includes the paper mill, a groundwood pulp mill, woodlands operations and two sawmills in nearby Bathurst and Blackville.

The sale price was not disclosed.

Oystein Oyehaug of Umoe Solar told Canadaeast News Service that it will be some time before the company decides what to do with all of its new assets, but a plan to build a new solar panel manufacturing plant on the site of the old paper mill in Newcastle is in its early stages and that some existing structures will need to be removed in order to do so.

"In a few years we will hopefully be up with such a production. But I think we will spend the best part of this year sorting out the assets that exist at the moment and try figure out what to do with them," Oyehaug said.

UPM acquired the Miramichi facility in October, 2000. The mill, with an annual production capacity of 450,000 tonnes of lightweight coated magazine paper, was permanently closed in December, 2007.

The disabled paper machines can no longer be used for paper production, UPM noted.

UPM worked closely with the provincial government over the past year toward sale of the Miramichi site. "We appreciate the support and understanding of the community and government during UPM's time in New Brunswick, and we are pleased to see new hope for all with the sale," said Miramichi general manager Timo Suutarla.

UPM said it will record a gain of about EUR 20 million on the sale as a special item in the first quarter of 2009.


PaperAge. Copyright © O'Brien Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.