The Nippon owned pulp and paper plant at Maryvale, Australian Paper, recently announced (10th October) a new recycled paper plant to be built on their LaTrobe Valley site. However it’s been silent about getting out of native forests as a result. Production is expected to start in early 2014, so it won’t be in time save the Leadbeaters possum from VicForests’ determined onslaught.
The Federal Govt has promised to pay $9.5 million of its $90 million establishment costs.
Nippon plans to transport waste paper from Melbourne, SA and NSW. If this is financially viable, you have to wonder why they can’t also transport plantation eucalypt logs from western Victoria as well.
So what % of their production might this be? The media release says it will generate 50,000 tonnes of premium recycled pulp each year. That’s about 10% of the Maryvale mill’s native forest woodchip pulp. It says it’ll be able to supply three times the current market for recycled paper in Australia. So they’ll have to do some serious promotion of it, turn a lot of this into packaging or other recycled products, or even export it. In which case, it wouldn’t do much for forest protection.
Consider that ABARE figures show that printing and writing paper has halved since 2007 in Australia, and we find this new move rather curious.
BTW – the fastest growing export item out of Port Botany is waste paper to China.