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August 15, 2006
Contact: Doug Pryke

Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp Production Growth Accelerates

-- ECF is Technology Choice for New Production Capacity Around the World --

(WASHINGTON, August 15) - For the 15th year in a row, Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp increased its share of the world's bleached chemical pulp market. The greater than 85% market share ECF pulp captured in 2005 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 - 2005," a report released today by the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET).

"The global expansion of ECF is accelerating," said Douglas C. Pryke, Executive Director of AET. "Approximately 10 million tonnes of ECF production is expected to come to market over the next five years from South America, Eastern Europe, Australia, China and South East Asia," noted Pryke. "This expansion reflects 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 assessment of bleaching technologies showed ECF's superior attributes with respect to papermaking quality and wood consumption, and reiterated that there is no significant difference in biological impact on the aquatic environment when comparing ECF and TCF bleaching effluents.

ECF's superior attributes were cited as reasons one of the largest TCF producers in Scandinavia recently announced a significant investment in bleaching technology to allow for ECF production. These superior attributes are: 1) higher brightness; 2) better run-ability on paper machines; 3) lower energy consumption; and 4) less wood consumption.

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 70 million tonnes worldwide in 2005. The small niche TCF market remained at less than 5% for the 10th year in a row and is expected to decline.

"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.