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December 12, 2003
Contact: Doug Pryke

Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp Production Continues Growth in 2002

ECF is Technology Choice for New Production Capacity Around the World

WASHINGTON- For the 12th year in a row Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp increased its share of the world bleached chemical pulp market. The greater than 75% market share ECF pulp captured in 2002, confirms ECF as the best available bleaching technology for chemical pulps. The growth for ECF is documented in "Trends in World Bleached Pulp Production: 1990 - 2002," an annual report released today by the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET).

"The global expansion of ECF continues," said Douglas C. Pryke, Executive Director of AET. "New production capacity coming on stream in South America, Europe, and China will be ECF," Pryke noted recognizing the worldwide pulp and paper industry's move to incorporate environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices.

International documentation of ECF's environmental integrity continues to mount. A recent peer-reviewed assessment of bleaching technologies showed no significant difference in biological impact on the aquatic environment when comparing ECF and TCF bleaching effluents.

The report documents yearly pulp production data since 1990 for ECF, TCF (Totally Chlorine-Free), and conventionally bleached pulp. As documented, ECF pulp production grew to more than 64 million tonnes worldwide in 2002. The small niche TCF market remained at 5% for the 8th year in a row.

"The growing market share is sending a clear message. When values such a price, performance and overall environmental integrity are considered, the technology decision is ECF," said Pryke.

The Alliance for Environmental Technology is an international association of chemical manufacturers dedicated to improving the environmental performance of the pulp and paper industry.