Archive for the ‘Specialty Cellulose’ Category

Fortress Paper Updates Status of Dissolving Pulp Production

Posted: Monday, June 11th, 2012

Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper” or the “Company”) (TSX:FTP) is pleased to announce that it has ramped up production of dissolving pulp at its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill to an average of approximately 92% of final targeted capacity during the last 10 days and have averaged approximately 83% over the last 4 weeks. The mill commenced production of dissolving pulp at the end of 2011 and has been steadily improving its production efficiency and technical capabilities. Following initial delays, we recently took scheduled periods of downtime to eliminate process constraints. These have proven successful and the ramp-up to full capacity continues to improve. The dissolving pulp being produced is meeting customer specifications and shipments to viscose customers located in China are increasing in volume.

Chad Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Paper, commented: “We are pleased with the ramp-up of dissolving pulp production at our Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill and the quality of the product. With our continually increasing production of dissolving pulp as well as process optimization, we are well on our way to achieving management’s forecasted top quartile cost structure once our Cogeneration facility is fully operational. We expect our dissolving pulp segment to provide a meaningful contribution to our financial results as the year progresses.”

Sources: MarketwireFortress Paper

Fortress Paper Announces New Appointments

Posted: Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSX:FTP) (‘Fortress Paper” or the “Corporation”) announces the appointment of Andre Boucher as Chief Operating Officer of Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc., a wholly-owned operating subsidiary which produces dissolving pulp.

Mr. Boucher has over 30 years of industry experience in the specialty cellulose sector including 24 years at Tembec Inc. where he was the General Manager of the Temiscaming dissolving pulp mill. Mr. Boucher was responsible for overall mill optimization and development of specialty products, including a full range of acetate and other specialty pulps. Most recently, Mr. Boucher was General Manager of Ethanol Operations for Suncor Energy Inc. where he developed the facility from concept to an efficient operating mill.

Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Paper, commented: “Andre brings a wealth of experience and technical talent to Fortress Paper at a time when we are growing our dissolving pulp business. We feel his mill optimization and unique experience in transitioning a viscose-grade dissolving pulp mill to a specialty-grade dissolving pulp mill will further enhance our already strong specialty cellulose team. Andre’s addition provides us with more flexibility as we balance our key personnel between Thurso and our other strategic projects.”

In addition, Fortress Paper is pleased to announce that Marco Veilleux has been promoted to Vice-President, Business Development and Strategic Projects of Fortress Paper from his former role as Chief Operating Officer of Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. Mr. Veilleux was an important member of the executive team which managed the successful staffing, startup and conversion to dissolving pulp at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill. Mr. Veilleux will focus on special and strategic projects, manage risk and compliance matters and will assume other key corporate responsibilities within Fortress Paper.

SOURCES:  Fortress Paper Ltd., Marketwire

Fortress Paper to Release Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings

Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper” or the “Corporation”) (TSX:FTP) announced today that it intends to release its fourth quarter financial results for the period ended December 31st, 2011 after the close of the market on Monday, March 5th, 2012. In connection with the release of its results, Fortress Paper Ltd. will host a conference call Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. (PST) to discuss the financial results and the Corporation’s operations. Mr. Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Ciotola, President, Kurt Loewen, Chief Financial Officer and Peter Vinall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. will host the call.

To participate in the conference call, please dial one of the following numbers:

Dial In Numbers: 604-681-8564 Vancouver
403-532-5601 Calgary or International
780-429-5820 Edmonton
416-623-0333 Toronto
613-212-0171 Ottawa
514-687-4017 Montreal
Toll Free Dial In Number: 1-855-353-9183 from Canada and USA
Participant Pass Code: 15086#
Conference Reference Number: 765945
A replay of the conference call will be available for 7 days. To access the replay, listeners may dial 1-855-201-2300 from Canada & the USA. The conference reference number is 765945 # and the participant pass code to access the replay is 15086 #.

SOURCES:

Fortress Paper Ltd., and Marketwire

Fortress Paper will be presenting at The Vancouver Small-Cap Conference

Posted: Friday, October 14th, 2011

Fortress Paper will be presenting at The Vancouver Small-Cap Conference on October 20th at the Vancouver Convention Centre and invites you to attend. Fortress Paper will have a corporate booth at the event and Chad Wasilenkoff will be presenting at 6:30pm.

Presenting companies come from a variety of industries including mining, technology, telecommunications, oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and more. The guest speakers will be sharing their outlook on the markets and current economic conditions, and will be providing their top picks for 2011.

Fortress Paper and Chad Wasilenkoff looks forward to seeing you this Thursday at his 6:30pm presentation or at the Fortress Paper booth.

Fortress Paper Provides Update on Dissolving Pulp Conversion Project

Posted: Friday, September 2nd, 2011

c. (“Fortress” or the “Company”) (TSX:FTP) wishes to report that the construction relating to the conversion of the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill from a NBHK pulp to a dissolving pulp operation is proceeding substantially on schedule. However, due to rescheduling of the delivery and installation of specialized equipment, the enhancement of certain processes, and other ancillary matters, the Company has decided to marginally delay the necessary shut down of the mill required to make tie-ins and upgrades on existing equipment. Accordingly, the production of dissolving pulp is now scheduled to commence in early November 2011. The Company believes that the enhancements to certain processes will provide for a smoother start up and ramp up to full production capacity.

The deferment in the production of dissolving pulp is partially mitigated by the mill’s existing production of specialty pulp which yields a higher margin as compared to NBHK pulp. This specialty pulp is manufactured in strict accordance with certain technical specifications requested by the Company’s customers. The Company believes that, as a result of the extensive development and training experience derived from achieving the tolerances required for this unique specialty pulp, the mill will be positioned for a more efficient transition to dissolving pulp production later this year.

SOURCE: Marketwire

Fortress Paper to Release First Quarter 2011 Earnings

Posted: Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – May 31, 2011) -

Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSX:FTP) (“Fortress Paper” or the “Corporation”) announced today that it intends to release its first quarter financial results for the period ended March 31st, 2011 after the close of the market on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011. In connection with the release of its results, Fortress Paper will host a conference call Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. (PST) to discuss the financial results and the Corporation’s operations. Mr. Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Ciotola, President, Erich Sulser, Chief Operating Officer, Kurt Loewen, Chief Financial Officer and Peter Vinall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. will host the call.

To participate in the conference call, please dial one of the following numbers:

Dial In Numbers: 604-681-0262 Vancouver
403-532-8075 Calgary or International
780-429-7423 Edmonton
647-837-0597 Toronto
613-683-0932 Ottawa
514-788-7663 Montreal
Toll Free Dial In Number: 1-877-353-9586 from Canada and USA
Participant Pass Code: 98030#
Conference Reference Number: 545090

 

A replay of the conference call will be available for 7 days. To access the replay, listeners may dial 1-877-353-9587 from Canada & the USA or dial 403-699-1055 from local Calgary or International. The conference reference number is 545090 # and the participant pass code to access the replay is 98030 #.

About Fortress Paper Ltd.

Fortress Paper is a leading international producer of security and other specialty papers and products. Fortress Paper operates three mills, the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, the Dresden Mill located in Germany and the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Quebec, Canada. Fortress Paper‘s security papers include banknote, high security, passport and visa papers and its specialty papers include non-woven wallpaper base products. Fortress Paper‘s pulp business includes NBHK produced at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill with plans to convert this capacity into dissolving pulp production along with the construction of a biomass based cogeneration plant.

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES.

 

Sources:

Marketwire

Fortress Paper Ltd.

Fortress Paper Announces Fourth Quarter 2010 Results

Posted: Monday, March 14th, 2011

Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSX:FTP) (“Fortress Paper” or the “Company”) reported 2010 fourth quarter EBITDA of $3.2 million. For the three months ended December 31, 2009 EBITDA was $7.9 million and for the third quarter of 2010 EBITDA was $8.9 million.

The fourth quarter of 2010 reflects continued strong profitability at our Dresden operations. At Landqart, the Company completed the successful transformation of paper-machine number 1 (“PM1″) to a high security paper-machine. This comprehensive project had a negative impact on fourth quarter earnings as there was no commercial production on the PM1 for two months. The results at Fortress Specialty Cellulose reflect weakening NBHK prices that have come off their peaks from earlier in the year. The conversion of the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill to a dissolving pulp producer remains on target for production in the third quarter of 2011. The underlying markets for dissolving pulp remain strong which continues to provide management with conviction in our attempts to expand further in this business segment.

Overall 2010 was another successful year for Fortress Paper Ltd. with the following significant accomplishments:

  • The acquisition by Fortress Specialty Cellulose of the Thurso mill from Fraser Papers and its successful start-up as a NBHK pulp producer.
  • Significant advancements with the conversion project of Fortress Specialty Cellulose to a dissolving mill scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2011.
  • Substantial completion of the rebuild of PM1 at Landqart by the end of 2010.
  • Continued market share growth in the non-woven wallpaper market at the Dresden mill.

Fortress reported adjusted net loss of $0.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 on sales of $83.5 million or diluted loss per share of $0.06. For the fourth quarter of 2009 the Company report adjusted net income of $4.8 million or diluted adjusted earnings per share of $0.46 on sales of $51.0 million. In the third quarter of 2010 the Company reported adjusted net income of $3.9 million on sales of $87.0 million or diluted adjusted earnings per share of $0.29. The primary reason for the decline, relative to the prior quarter, is attributed to weaker NBHK pulp prices which remained below their June peak prices throughout the fourth quarter of 2010. In addition our Landqart mill underwent a significant portion of the PM1 upgrade. The acceptance and production of lower margin banknote orders in preparation for increased capacity in 2011 also contributed to the decrease in net income compared to prior periods. Effective October 31, 2010 the last order of specialty papers was produced at Landqart. By the end of December, the full conversion was substantially complete and production of saleable security paper on the transformed PM1 began in early January 2011. Both the NBHK pulp price impact at Fortress Specialty Cellulose and the conversion at Landqart overshadowed an excellent fourth quarter at Dresden.

EBITDA was $26.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to $25.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. Excluding corporate costs, Dresden, Landqart and Fortress Specialty Cellulose combined mill EBITDA was $31.7 million and $29.1 million in the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Despite significant EUR depreciation in the year the Dresden mill was able to contribute $21.9 million EBITDA which was in line with the previous year at $21.6 million. The Landqart mill produced significantly lower results ($0.5 million EBITDA) than the prior year ($7.5 million EBITDA) in large part due to the conversion of PM1 as previously stated. The Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill, purchased April 30, 2010, provided approximately $9.3 million of EBITDA.

Adjusted net income for the year ended December 31, 2010 was $10.4 million or $0.84 per share (diluted). Adjusted net income for the previous year comparative period was $13.8 million or $1.35 per share (diluted).

EBITDA is defined as net income before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization, non-operating income and expenses and stock based compensation which the Company considers to be a key performance indicator. Adjusted Net Income (Loss) is calculated as Net Income (Loss) less specific items affecting comparability with prior periods and Adjusted Net Income (Loss) per Share is calculated as Adjusted Net Income (Loss) divided by the weighted average number of shares outstanding in the period. EBITDA, Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted Net Income (Loss) per Share are not generally accepted earnings measures and should not be considered as an alternative to net income or cash flows as determined in accordance with Canadian GAAP. As there is no standardized method of calculating these measures, the Company’s EBITDA, Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted Net Income (Loss) per Share may not be directly comparable with similarly titled measures used by other companies.

Subsequent to December 31, 2010:

  • Fortress completed the acquisition of the assets of the Bank of Canada’s Optical Security Material (OSM) division (the “OSM Assets”), which produces the optically variable material for the security threads contained in various banknotes, including application in the Canadian banknotes. The Company paid a purchase price of $0.75 million for the OSM assets and granted the Bank of Canada a royalty-free license to use the intellectual property sold to the Company for Canadian banknote applications.
  • Fortress completed a public offering of 967,000 common shares of the Company and the underwriters exercised their over-allotment option and purchased an additional 145,050 common shares at a price of $51.75 per share, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds under the offering of $57.5 million. Proceeds of the offering will be used to finance certain capital expenditures relating to its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Thurso, Quebec and the construction of a high security facility adjacent to the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill which will house the Company’s OSM Assets recently acquired from the Bank of Canada, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.
  • Fortress‘ wholly-owned subsidiary Dresden Papier GmbH (“Dresden”) increased the current credit facility amounting to EUR18.5 million to EUR 22.15 million for the rebuild of Landqart’s PM1 into a banknote paper-machine.
  • The remaining $7 million principal amount of the Company’s $15 million unsecured convertible debenture that was issued on April 30, 2010 has been converted. The Company has issued 350,000 common shares with this redemption.

Selected Financial Information

The selected financial information presented herein is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, our audited consolidated financial statements as at and for the year ended December 31, 2010 and the related notes thereon and our Management’s Discussion and Analysis filed on SEDAR.

Three Months Ended December 31, 2010
(thousands of dollars, except shipments, unaudited) Q4 2010 Q3 2010 Q4 2009
Sales 83,467 86,971 51,049
EBITDA1 3,237 8,930 7,885
Operating (loss) income (10,775 ) 6,159 6,292
Net (loss) income (10,953 ) 5,148 3,720
Adjusted net (loss) income (751 ) 3,854 4,793
Paper Shipments (tonnes) 15,406 16,452 15,291
Pulp Shipments (tonnes) 62,038 60,469 -
1 See net income to EBITDA reconciliation.
Net income to EBITDA reconciliation:
(thousands of dollars, unaudited) Q4 2010 Q3 2010 Q4 2009
Net (loss) income $ (10,953 ) $ 5,148 $ 3,720
Income tax 1,305 2,243 1,199
Foreign exchange (gain) loss (1,099 ) (1,294 ) 1,073
Interest expense (29 ) 62 300
Amortization 3,029 2,192 1,441
Stock based compensation 5,983 579 152
Executive Cash Award 5,000 - -
EBITDA

The Company

Fortress Paper is a leading international producer of security and other specialty papers and products. Fortress operates three mills, the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, the Dresden Mill located in Germany and the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Quebec, Canada. Fortress Paper’s security papers include banknote, passport and visa papers and its specialty papers include non-woven wallpaper base products, and graphic and technical papers. Fortress Paper’s pulp business includes NBHK produced at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill with plans to convert this capacity into dissolving pulp production along with the construction of a biomass based cogeneration plant.

Conference Call

A conference call to discuss the financial results for the fourth quarter 2010 will be held on March 15, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. (PST). To attend the conference call, please dial one of the following numbers:

North America: 1-877-353-9586

International: 1-403-532-8075

Participant pass code: 98030#

A replay of the conference call will be available for 7 days. To access the replay, listeners may dial 1-877-353-9587 from North America or 403-699-1055 International. The pass code to access the replay is 537274#.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some information in this news release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and/or expectations of the Company with respect to its performance, business and future events. The reader is cautioned that forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements including, without limitation, those relating to damage to our reputation, competition, maintaining our market position, marketability and price of our products, technology and protection of our intellectual property, dependence on our major customers, fluctuations in the price and supply of raw materials, fluctuations in foreign exchange and other risk factors detailed in our filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. These risks, as well as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly. Fortress Paper Ltd. does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions for updating any voluntary forward-looking statements.

Source: Marketwire

 

BC Business: “Outside The Box Business Strategies”

Posted: Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

When life deals you pulp, you make cellulose. Learn how to recognize business opportunities, then reach out and grab them.

Any business needs a coherent strategy if it hopes to succeed. However, in a climate where marketplace and financial changes are becoming ever more rapid, clinging mindlessly to a strategy can be a recipe for disaster. Simply put, companies today must be more agile in their thinking to take advantage of business opportunities that may present themselves.


The Problem

North Vancouver’s Fortress Paper Ltd. has carved out a good and growing business niche since it began in 2006. That’s when CEO and chair Chadwick Wasilenkoff bought separate paper mills in Germany and Switzerland to produce specialty papers: security paper used in banknotes, passports and visas; and specialty papers such as non-woven wallpaper-base products and graphic and technical paper. But in 2009, the crushing downturn in the overall forestry industry threw an opportunity at Wasilenkoff that would move the company in a completely different direction. He had to decide: should Fortress stick with successful execution of a strategy or take advantage of an opportunity?


The Solution

Wasilenkoff has always approached business as an investor instead of as a manager, and so he applied solid investment principles in order to reach his decision. One of the primary ones, he believes, is that “it’s better to be lucky than good.” 


When Toronto’s Fraser Papers, which made printing and publishing papers, became a victim of the recession and filed for creditor protection in June 2009, Wasilenkoff started looking at its assets, especially Fraser’s shuttered hardwood pulp mill in Thurso, Quebec. The mill drew Wasilenkoff’s interest because it had the perfect technology for an idea he’d been playing with for some time: the conversion of hardwood pulp to dissolving cellulose, a commodity that was being sought by Asian textile producers. As the price of cotton soared, Asian textile companies wanted to replace it with rayon, which is derived from dissolving cellulose. 


Wasilenkoff decided the opportunity was too good to pass up and went for it. He formed a subsidiary that obtained the Thurso mill for the fire-sale price of $1.2 million. After a $153-million conversion, it will switch from producing northern bleached hardwood kraft (NBHK) pulp to dissolving cellulose. 


Wasilenkoff brought Quebec on board by providing jobs for union workers who had been laid off since the mill closed. The Quebec government was only too happy to lend him the funds needed for the conversion. Also, the Quebec and federal governments were willing to help fund a green 25-megawatt co-generation power plant fueled with wood waste and other biomass. 


The mill will begin turning out dissolving cellulose in 2011, but in the meantime Fortress also got lucky. The NBHK market, which was in a severe downturn, turned up because of factors such as the Chile earthquake and a strike in Sweden. Suddenly, the plant that was closed because of low NBHK prices was turning a profit that will continue during the conversion.


Lessons

• Get out of the groove. People tend to get caught up in groupthink. Wasilenkoff could see an opportunity because he takes a contrarian and long-term view of his and other industries. 


• Think like an investor. Fortress earlier moved into wallpaper because a new method had appeared that made it profitable. Wasilenkoff determined that the Thurso mill was low risk and high return. 


• Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Look at everything around you from many angles. Wasilenkoff was able to make his decision because Fortress wasn’t a typical forest products company, which is usually concerned more with cost-cutting than its product mix.

By Tony Wanless for BC Business. July 7, 2010.

SOURCE:
BC Business: “Outside The Box Business Strategies”

Fortress Paper Announces $40,866,500 Bought Deal Offering

Posted: Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – June 8, 2010)

Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper” or the “Company”) (TSX:FTP), announces that it has entered into a financing agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities Corporation and including Jennings Capital Inc., Raymond James Ltd., and TD Securities Inc. (the “Underwriters”). Pursuant to the agreement, the Underwriters have agreed to purchase, on a bought deal basis, 1,739,000 common shares (“Shares”) of the Company priced at $23.50 per Share (the “Offering Price”), for total gross proceeds of $40,866,500 (the “Offering”).

The Company has agreed to grant the Underwriters an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 260,850 common shares of the Company at the Offering Price, exercisable in whole or in part, at any time on or prior to the date that is 30 days following the closing of the Offering. If the over-allotment option is exercised in full, the aggregate gross proceeds of the Offering will be $46,996,475.

Fortress Paper intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to finance certain capital expenditures relating to its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Thurso, Quebec and its rebuild of papermachine number 1 at its Landqart Mill, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

The Offering is expected to close on or about July 9, 2010 and is subject to certain customary conditions including, but not limited to, the receipt of all necessary regulatory and stock exchange approvals, including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange and the applicable securities regulatory authorities. The offering will be made in Canada by way of a short form prospectus and may be made in jurisdictions outside of Canada on a private placement basis pursuant to prospectus and registration exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. The Company intends to file a preliminary short form prospectus relating to the offering with the applicable securities regulatory authorities in Canada in due course.

The securities being offered have not been, nor will they be, registered under the United StatesSecurities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities in the United States.

Fortress Paper Announces Equipment Purchase For Its Thurso Mill

Posted: Monday, June 7th, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 7, 2010 – Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper” or the “Corporation”) announces the signing of a purchase agreement by its wholly owned subsidiary, Fortress Specialty Cellulose Ltd. (“Fortress Specialty”) with Stora Enso Oyi Cellulose Inc. to acquire digesters, specialized process equipment and other ancillary equipment to be used in the conversion of its Thurso mill to produce dissolving pulp.

The agreement provides for a purchase price of Euro 3 Million (CAD $3.8Million) and includes the purchase and delivery of a complete displacement cooking plant consisting of 3 batch digesters, liquor accumulators and various associated specialty process equipment and piping.

Chad Wasilenkoff Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Paper, commented: “After spending a considerable amount of time assessing and evaluating the equipment, we are very pleased to be able to secure this equipment. This equipment has operated for only 12 years and we are confident of its quality and performance, which should result in a material reduction in our overall capital investment requirements for the conversion to dissolving pulp. We also believe that by acquiring almost an entire batch cooking system, we reduce the process risk for this transformation. At this time it is still too early to determine the impact this new equipment will have on the completion date.”

About Fortress Paper

Fortress Paper is a leading international producer of security and other specialty papers and products. Fortress Paper operates three mills, the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, the Dresden Mill located in Germany and the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Quebec, Canada. Fortress Paper’s security papers include banknote, passport and visa papers and its specialty papers include non-woven wallpaper base products, and graphic and technical papers. Fortress Paper’s pulp business will include NBHK with the re-start of the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill with plans to convert this capacity into dissolving pulp production along with the construction of a biomass based cogeneration plant.