Tembec, Montreal, Que., Canada, this week announced a four-year $136 million capital investment program in its Québec facilities to improve competitiveness, centered on its specialty cellulose pulp operation at the Temiscaming manufacturing site. Tembec is a global producer of specialty cellulose – processed from wood pulp – used to bind, strengthen, thicken, and generally improve a great many products in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, foods, coatings, electronics, construction, and energy industries. Some sectors of the specialty cellulose market are experiencing annual growth in the 4% range.
This investment qualifies Tembec to benefit from electricity rebates applicable to large industrial power users under the Electricity Discount Program for Consumers Billed at Rate "L." Tembec will be reimbursed for an amount of up to $55 million, representing 40% of the $136 million investment.
The program, introduced in the Government of Québec's 2016-2017 budget, applies to significant investments in the four-year period up to the end of calendar 2020, which increase productivity or improve energy efficiency.
"I want to acknowledge the significant support of the Government of Québec for investment projects that improve the long-term competitiveness of Tembec's manufacturing operations in Québec. Tembec is committed to maintaining a leadership position in the forest products industry, and today marks another major step toward that objective," said James Lopez, Tembec's president and CEO.
"It is critical to rely on innovation and modernization to promote the long-term strength of Québec's forest products sector, to assure a sound future for our businesses, our workers, and our communities. For this reason, our government works closely with companies to contribute to creating the conditions that allow them to achieve these ends. I salute the initiative of Tembec, a longstanding mainstay of the Québec forest products industry, and a sustainability leader in this field," said Luc Blanchette, Québec Minister of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks.
The proposed investments will cover a number of upgrades at the Temiscaming site, including the long-planned replacement of 11 existing pulp digesters, a project required for the site to remain competitive in global markets. Work is already underway, with one digester replaced to date. Some of the new investment also will go toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as part of Tembec's long-term commitment to reducing its impact on climate change. The Temiscaming site's high-yield pulp and coated bleached board manufacturing facilities will also benefit from new investments as will the Matane high-yield pulp facility.
The Temiscaming site is supplied mainly with wood fiber from local forests and sawmills in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. Tembec has a total of some 1,500 employees in Québec, of which 800 work at the Temiscaming site.
Tembec is a manufacturer of forest products – lumber, paper pulp, paper, and specialty cellulose pulp – and a global leader in sustainable forest management practices. Principal operations are in Canada and France. Tembec has approximately 3,000 employees and annual sales of some $1.5 billion.