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Author Topic: Sappi paper  (Read 2808 times)

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Offline Maine logger88

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Sappi paper
« on: August 22, 2021, 07:43:57 PM »
Is in jeopardy the state dep and our governor want to take out a dam where sappi gets all there water from. Removal of the dam will drop water levels to 4 ft which isnít enough reservoir to run the mill. They want the dam gone for Atlantic salmon to be able to go upstream. The owner of the dam is willing to put in a fish ladder which the claim is will be 96 percent effective but the state wonít settle for any less than 99 percent which is impossible. The state is in for a fight there are lawsuits going on hopefully the dam stays. I donít understand why they would like to kill thousands of jobs for a few dam fish. That mill is by far the biggest in the state itís loss would be devastating
79 TJ 225 81 JD 540B Husky and Jonsered saws

Offline Southside

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2021, 08:26:58 PM »
It's been going on since Angus King and John Baldacci decided to make the state into a tourist economy. Look at all the mills from Enfield north that have disappeared over the past 20 years. Look at the poultry industry and dairy industry, gone. The replacement was call center jobs for what 5 years?

Rails to trails. Make for great sledding, earning a living - not so much.

It's a lot of why we left. Fighting the tide.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2021, 09:16:44 PM »
seems theres a new one of these stories every week or two. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2021, 06:05:10 PM »
I read an article about this.
99% only means 2 more fish a year. It's not only bad for Maine pulp from New Hampshire goes there as well.
I like clean living , but where is this stuff going to end.
Everyone can't work at low pay food service jobs .
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2021, 07:59:27 PM »
Let's see...so the state picks up the tab to destroy an industry that pays taxes and provides jobs because fishing lisences are more lucrative ???  

I'll bet there are more places to catch salmon than there are paper mills.
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Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2021, 08:31:54 PM »
I bought that Hood up in the Kingdom and the guy started talking about this and how it's going to impact them there. Every couple miles I drove I saw iron for sale along the road, going to get worse. 

Offline Southside

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2021, 09:25:24 PM »
Even better Sprucebunny - the fishing license revenue does not go to the general fund to offset any other lost taxes - it goes right to Fish and Game to enforce the fact you need a fishing license to not keep the fish that you caught because you didn't need to go to work since the State closed down the industry you worked in and instead you are collecting unemployment which was paid by your previous employer before the State closed them down and is now instead paid by the general fund which is short of the tax revenue that your previous employer contributed.  Oh - and don't keep that Atlantic Salmon, not allowed to do that.  

Makes sense.....
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Offline peakbagger

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Re: Sappi pape
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2021, 09:40:12 PM »
Caution contrary and cynical view - Actually the Atlantic salmon is listed under the endangered species act. Not a lot of flexibility once a species is listed. There are couple of remnant runs left in Maine and that is it. The runs have been on life support for 20 years. In the last few years there were some international fishing agreements signed that have given them a better chance on surviving to return to the Maine rivers but without free passage and spawning grounds they have no where to breed.  I remember similar dire consequence predicted for the Sappi Westbrook Mill about 20 years ago when there was fish passage required at the Westbrook mill. Eventually they needed to do it and it got done (no salmon run so they only needed to pass anadromous fish). So how much is posturing, how much is economics? My guess is impossible translates to expensive to deal with. If the current mill staff cant bluff it, corporate will find someone who can?   

The scary part is that the pulp and paper business is up and down (mostly down)and sometimes a company uses external events to justify already made decisions. Coated paper has been in the dumps for years with major market oversupply, the savior for that market was grease free papers but the big ingredient for grease free is or was PFAS, Expera the former IP mill in Jay also has bet its future on grease free specialties, last thing I knew Nine Dragons is still thinking on where to go. I think market pulp is or was doing well of late but its cyclical.  Sappi long ago cashed out their maine lands for a bundle and the long term supply contracts are probably long gone. They are the only big paper company that has not dumped their remaining mill assets to hedge funds and bottom feeders and hopefully its not the time to do so if they are given justification. They are competing with similar vintage mills that were bought for pennies on the dollar selling the same products. 

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2021, 05:46:22 PM »
I get that Atlantic salmon are endangered but itís not worth shutting down a entire industry to maybe or maybe not improve numbers by 1 or 2 fish a year. Not to mention the fact that landlocked salmon are basically the same fish and there are plenty of those. Also I agree on the paper being up and down but sappi seems to be doing pretty well they just put a massive amount of money into the mill I wouldnít think they would be giving up on it anytime soon. Hopefully it all works out and they keep going Iíd like to do this another 10 or 15 years before I try something else lol
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Offline quilbilly

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2021, 06:21:22 PM »
Dams are spendy to take out and salmon take a long time to come back after they are. Elwha dam just got taken out. $340mil or something like that. If the difference for the cutoff is a handful of fish then that's just dumb. Also look up salmon cannon. I know people in fisheries and they say the hype is real and they work better than ladders. 

If you want expensive wait till they finally win and take out the snake river dams. Billion dollar projects there. 
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2021, 08:33:31 PM »
Businesses and conservationists sparring over Kennebec River dam relicensing

The underlying story is Shawmut Dam,  Its a Hydro station under Federal relicensing.  Having been involved with licensing in the past
the process requires a dam owner to get a Federal License, however you cannot get that license without a State DEP water quality (401) certificate first.
All the dams on the Kennebec are under fire.    You can bet US Fish and Wildlife is likely leading the process for the State.  I know they do here in NY.

D





Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2021, 09:19:52 PM »
Atlantic salmon is a big deal and has been for a long time. Back in the '80's I would go up to New Brunswick to fly fish for them. Millions where spent in the effort to save or restore them in Maine and on the Connecticut river system. Most of this effort met failure. It can't be 100 per cent your interests, there should be compromise especially when the restoration results have not worked in the past.

Offline Southside

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2021, 10:28:55 PM »
I can remember eating Atlantic Salmon in the '90s - perfectly legal too, they would have a numbered tag through the mouth similar to a deer tag.  I think the season limit was 5, but it's been a long time and I didn't catch it.  
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Offline peakbagger

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2021, 09:03:01 AM »
Also I agree on the paper being up and down but sappi seems to be doing pretty well they just put a massive amount of money into the mill I wouldnít think they would be giving up on it anytime soon. Hopefully it all works out and they keep going Iíd like to do this another 10 or 15 years before I try something else lol
Sappi spent a "massive" amount of money back in the eighties to install a new recovery boiler at the Westbrook mill and few years later they shut the pulp mill down for a year and replaced it with the Rapid Displacement Heating (RDH) pulping process. The process worked as claimed but they reportedly cut corners on an auxiliary system and the mill smelled far worse when it started up than previously to the point where buildings adjacent to the site including the Westbrook police station had to be evacuated a few times due to high levels of hazardous gases in the air. They tried to make it right but shut the pulp mill down for good about a year later. My guess in todays dollars is that they spent far more than Skowhegan did recently. They kept a book grade papermachine and the deep embossing grade machine mostly because they had free stream and cheap power from the adjacent biomass power plant and dam system. More importantly by keeping something running they delayed the start of the clock ticking on an inevitable super fund listing if they ever shut the place down entirely. Last thing I knew they only are running one machine to keep that special deep embossed coated paper. 
Not the first time a mill owner spends a lot of bucks on a facility and then a few years later get rid of it to any buyer that will buy it. Inexon in Millinocket (#10PM), Bowater in East Millinocket (Recycled Fiber facility) are two that come to mind. I hope it doesn't happen to the folks working there, but years of watching the Maine paper industry its obvious that decisions have almost always been made by out of town owners. The Warren family in Westbrook was the exception but they eventually faded out and Sappi bought what was left. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2021, 09:07:46 AM »
you are a wealth of historic information PB, it is always a pleasure to read these posts and understand it deeper than what you get from some assignment journalist puking out an article from a few phone calls to the front office. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2021, 09:11:31 AM »
Reminds me of you Mike!
Trying harder everyday.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2021, 09:59:48 AM »
Smurfit Stone spent a pile of money upgrading our mill only to close it down and go bankrupt a few short years later. All of money they spent on upgrades got cut up for hauled away for scrap.

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2021, 11:37:00 AM »
Leave it to Wisconsin mills to have been focused on glossy mag. stock also.  Why we always have to do the most toxic (lots of bleaching, lots of coating materials) stuff here grates on my mind.  Now of course, magazines are fading away.  I'm sure though that whatever resurgence of paper-making does happen here, it too will involve the worst chemicals/processes there are.  That's the Wisconsin way!  Mix a water-rich state with lots of toxic effluent.
Far as I can tell, it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other...

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2021, 02:26:20 PM »
Fraser spent money at the Berlin NH pulp mill on a new Combined Heat and Power plant, a condensate stripping system and a new brown stock screening system after their corporate owners, Brookfield, bought the bankrupt mill in Berlin and Gorham and stripped the hydro plants off them and sold what was left to Fraser for $1. Less than 3 years later Fraser shut down the pulping operation in Berlin and sold it to be scrapped. There were brand new spares still in the crates being hauled off as scrap. They kept the papermill for a bit longer until Fraser declared bankruptcy. Brookfield had stripped Fraser clean of assets, tens of thousands of acres of land in Maine and large Crowns lease in Canada,  and buried it in debt before going letting Fraser go bankrupt. The US workers got their pensions protected by PBGC (a US backstop for pensions) but the retired folks in Canada lost theirs as the court paid off the senior debtors first before the pensioners. Their biggest senior debtor was Brookfield.  Brookfield also had their hands in the Millinocket mess as they already owned the hydros but some of them were two cycle power and was useless for selling on the grid. They the mills running running long enough to convert most if not all the dams to regular power and built a power line to get it on the grid.  Fraser ran it but Brookfield called the shots. Once they got that taken care of they effectively gave what was left to the Katahdin Paper guys owned by Cates Street that then proceeded to rip off the state. 

Brookfield did get burnt in the short term when they overpaid Rumford for the Rumford hydros. 

You will see that Brookfield also is the owner of the controversial dams on the Kennebec. Whenever I see them with their fingers in a  project I know they are strictly in it for the buck. 

Offline Southside

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Re: Sappi paper
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2021, 02:55:08 PM »
Brookfield are scum. Delt with them when they bought the old JP Levesque mill in Ashland. Can't say enough bad about that group. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
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