More on Nippon Sale


Nippon Paper Industries Agrees to Sell Port Angeles Paper Mill to Bio-Pappel

Paper production at Nippon Paper Industries’ Port Angeles pulp and paper mill was curtailed in January for market-related conditions. However, the co-generation facility at the site is continuing to run.

March 2, 2017 – Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. today announced the sale of the Port Angeles, Washington paper mill and cogeneration assets, which are owned and operated by Nippon Paper Industries USA Co., Ltd. to McKinley Paper Company.

McKinley is the US subsidiary of Bio-Pappel, a leading producer of paper and paper products in Mexico.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nippon Paper Industries noted that it acquired the Port Angeles mill in 1988 in order to produce and sell printing and writing papers including telephone directory paper. Although the operation performed well in sales and leveraged lightweight and high quality paper products mainly in the North American market for many years, it has recently been facing a challenging business environment due to diminishing demand for its products.

After conducting a strategic review of its global operations as part of its fifth medium-term business plan (FY2015-FY2017), Nippon Paper Industries concluded that the Port Angeles mill did not fit with its global strategy and objectives and began looking for an appropriate buyer.

The Port Angeles mill was built in 1920 and operated under the name Crown Zellerbach. Daishowa Paper of Japan purchased it in 1988 and later merged to become Nippon Paper Industries USA. The mill is a fully integrated pulp and paper mill with the capacity to produce about 325 tons per day of lightweight printing and specialty papers. The recycled deinked pulp mill was built in in the early 1990’s and has the capacity to produce more than 200 tons per day of high quality recycled pulp.

In December of 2014, Nippon Paper curtailed production of the mill’s No. 2 Paper Machine, and according to a recent news story in the Peninsula Daily News, Nippon Paper curtailed paper production on the mill’s remaining paper machine as of January 21, 2017 for market-related conditions. However, the co-generation facility at the site is continuing to run.

Andy Grossell of Port Angeles, the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 155 president at the Ediz Hook plant, told Peninsula Daily News that most of the 105 hourly workers have been laid off, and that about 20 to 30 employees are maintaining the plant and running Nippon’s recently built $90 million-plus biomass co-generation plant.

Nippon Paper Industries expects the sale to close on March 31, and noted that “McKinley has an intention to sustain Port Angeles mill operation.”

McKinley Paper Company operates paper collection and recycling centers in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Colorado.

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. is one of the top 10 pulp and paper companies in the world. Founded in 1949, the company owns more than 160 group companies and 180,000 hectares of private timberlands.

SOURCE: Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Editor’s Note:  The Co-gen plant is now operating in violation of its permit which allows it to work in concert with paper production only and not as a stand-alone unit.


  1. Rik Reynolds

    J. Paul Getty, the richest man in the world at one time, had a pulp mill built on barges in Japan and towed across the Pacific and up a river in S. America, into the middle of a rain forest. He was then closer to markets in Europe and things went well until he discovered that something like 80% of the nutrients of a forest are in the standing trees. When you haul them away, rather than letting them live normal lifespans, die, fall and decompose, eventually you exhaust the soil. The pulp mill failed, and Getty lost a fortune.

    The co-gen plant burns “waste” that should have been left on the land to protect it from erosion (another factor in the non-renewal of soil, and hence forests) and to decompose into new soil, meaning soil is being exhausted even faster. Ask any farmer about the importance of leaving fields fallow to allow the soil to recover.

    In Europe, where tree farms operate on a 40 year cut-cycle they find that each successive generation of trees are smaller. As long as we can cut a tree down and use it up faster than we can grow one eventually forestry will become unsustainable. We’ve already cut down and used 95% of the old growth that was here when Columbus arrived.

    What little is left is under intense pressure from those who can only see their opportunity to make personal, short-term profit and have no concern for future generations.
    Editor’s Note: Colleen McAleer, chair of the Port of Port Angeles said the new accepted standard is to cut on a 32 year cycle.

  2. Steve B

    Hemp paper has been the way of the future since 1916. Maybe now is the time.

  3. Another Anon

    Yes, the Co-Generation plant was approved as a needed facility for the paper making operations at the mill. That determination was part of the conditions, as part of the approval process.

    I have been told that Nippon has been selling the “Green” electricity generated at the mill to California at a premium price, buying cheaper Bonneville electricity to run the paper making operations, and pocketing the difference.

    As we see today, the Co-generation plant continues to emit smoke, and obviously is operating. At the same time, we have been told the paper making operation has been shut down.

    Who is going to investigate this?

    1. Rik Reynolds

      I wrote to Keith Ferguson, our crusading attorney general, about evidence of chemical pollution at the port’s log yard and got NO response, so don’t expect him to do anything about smokestacks. He’s only concerned about Muslims being blocked from entry.
      Editor’s Note: Not to worry, the Port of Port Angeles is going to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to put in a treatment system in support of the Timber industry’s use of Port property.

  4. Rik Reynolds

    Bob Ferguson is our A.G., not Keith.


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