On the occasion of the re-start of Paper Excellence’s Chetwynd pulp mill, the media-shy company opened up a bit in an interview with Business in Vancouver.
The company’s deputy CEO, Pedro Chang, said the company is in Canada for the long haul.
“Many pulp manufacturers look at the pulp industry [to be in] sunset,” Chang told the magazine. “Paper Excellence, our vision is different. We look at it as sunrise. We will be here for a century – as far as Asia continues emerging.”
While there is a family connection between Paper Excellence and Asia Pulp and Paper (Jackson Widjaja is the son of Teguh Widjaja, chairman of Sinar Mas Group, which owns APP), Chang told Business in Vancouver that Paper Excellence is not a subsidiary of either company.
It is 100% owned by Jackson Widjaja, and headquartered in Richmond, B.C. According the article, about 100 people work at the Richmond headquarters. Across Canada, Paper Excellence employs more than 2,000 people, with mills in B.C., Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
However, Paper Excellence does have the benefit of selling its pulp to APP mills, not on the open market, so it is not as vulnerable to pulp price fluctuations, Chang explained.
Asked why the company is so bullish on the Canadian pulp mill sector, Chang said one reason is capital cost. He noted that a modern pulp mill can cost $2 billion to build, whereas Canada has idled or underused pulp and paper mills. The company spent $115 million modernizing the Howe Sound mill after buying it, and recently invested $50 million before re-starting the Chetwynd facility.