NEWS BRIEFS

According to reports, the pulp mill in Samoa, CA, is now owned by Moraga, CAbased Samoa Acquisition Corp. Formerly known as Evergreen Pulp and now Freshwater Pulp, the mill was owned by Lee & Mann Paper Manufacturing Ltd., Hong Kong. The mill is currently idle because of a lack of fiber supplies in the region.


Brazil's Aracruz SA and its partner Stora Enso said in March they were to delay the Veracel II eucalyptus pulp expansion project for at least a year "in view of the present market scenario." Aracruz reported a loss of about $US1.33 billion in 4Q08 mainly because of a drop of 33% in the value of the real against the US dollar. Aracruz is going ahead with its planned merger with VCP. www.aracruz.com


Tembec, Inc. said it had sold its idled coated paper mill St. Francisville mill, LA, to West Feliciana Acquisition, LLC, a unit of PanAmerican Capital Group Inc. for $16 million. The group is based in Panama and has offices in New York. It also owns Sylvan Power Co. which is converting a former municipal incinerator in Robbins, IL, into a biomass power plant under the name Robbins Community Power, LLC. According to a report, Louisiana is to provide an initial $16 million in incentives and could pay out up to $19 million more over the next 10 years. www.panamerica-group.com.


Neenah Paper, Inc. is to close its Ripon, CA, one-machine, 35,000-tpy fine papers mill by the end of July. Production will be allocated amongst the company's other operations. The mill site will be offered for sale. Pre-tax charges in 2Q09 are estimated at $17 million: $6 million for asset write-downs and $11 million for employee costs. Neenah said the closure was because of a need to reduce fixed costs and improve distribution and manufacturing efficiency. Neenah reported a loss from continuing operations for 1Q09 of $0.7 million, or $0.05 per diluted common share, compared with income from continuing operations of $8.5 million, or $0.57 per diluted common share, in 1Q08. www.neenah.com.



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