Tembec announces $136 million investment in Quebec to improve competitiveness
March 24, 2017 - Tembec announced Friday a four-year $136 million capital investment program in its Quebec facilities to improve competitiveness, centered on its specialty cellulose pulp operation at the Temiscaming manufacturing site. Tembec is a leading global producer of specialty cellulose – processed from wood pulp – used to bind, strengthen, thicken and generally improve a great many products in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, foods, coatings, electronics, construction and energy industries. Some sectors of the specialty cellulose market are experiencing annual growth in the four per cent range.
This investment qualifies Tembec to benefit from electricity rebates applicable to large industrial power users under the Electricity Discount Program for Consumers Billed at Rate "L". Tembec will be reimbursed for an amount of up to $55 million, representing 40 per cent of the $136 million investment.
The program, introduced in the Government of Quebec's 2016-2017 budget, applies to significant investments in the four-year period up to the end of calendar 2020 which increase productivity or improve energy efficiency.
"I want to acknowledge the significant support of the Government of Quebec for investment projects which improve the long-term competitiveness of Tembec's manufacturing operations in Quebec. Tembec is committed to maintaining a leadership position in the forest products industry, and today marks another major step toward that objective," said James Lopez, Tembec's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"It is critical to rely on innovation and modernization to promote the long-term strength of Quebec's forest products sector, to assure a sound future for our businesses, our workers and our communities. For this reason, our government works closely with companies to contribute to creating the conditions that allow them to achieve these ends. I salute the initiative of Tembec, a longstanding mainstay of the Quebec forest products industry, and a sustainability leader in this field," said Luc Blanchette, Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.
The proposed investments will cover a number of upgrades at the Temiscaming site, including the long-planned replacement of 11 existing pulp digesters, a project required for the site to remain competitive in global markets. Work is already underway, with one digester replaced to date. Some of the new investment also will go toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as part of Tembec's long-term commitment to reducing its impact on climate change. The Temiscaming site's high-yield pulp and coated bleached board manufacturing facilities will also benefit from new investments as will the Matane high-yield pulp facility.
The Temiscaming site is supplied mainly with wood fiber from local forests and sawmills in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. Tembec has a total of some 1,500 employees in Quebec of which 800 work at the Temiscaming site.
Tembec is a manufacturer of forest products – lumber, paper pulp, paper, and specialty cellulose pulp – and a global leader in sustainable forest management practices. Principal operations are in Canada and France. Tembec has approximately 3,000 employees and annual sales of approximately $1.5 billion. Tembec is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TMB).