Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp Production Growth Accelerates
-- ECF is Technology Choice for New Production Capacity Around the World --
(Toronto, October 25, 2011) - For the 20th year in a row Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp increased its share of the world bleached chemical pulp market. The greater than 90% market share ECF pulp captured in 2010, 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 - 2010," a report released today by the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET).
"The growth of ECF is accelerating," said Douglas C. Pryke, Executive Director of AET. "ECF pulp production is projected to grow approximately 10 million tonnes over the next 5 years. The new production will for the most part come from South America," Pryke noted.
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 the reason one of the largest TCF producers in the Scandinavia recently converted to ECF production, citing the following reasons: 1) ECF pulp is more suitable to their customers processes; 2) increased production capacity; 3) higher pulp brightness without sacrificing pulp strength characteristics; 4) simpler bleaching sequence; 4) increased pulp yield; and 5) impact on the aquatic environment was unchanged.
ECF's compatibility with sustainable eco-systems was recently recognized by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in it's judgement regarding the conflict over Botnia's Frey Bentos mill in Uruguay. The ICJ noted that the mill employed an ECF bleaching process and as such was BAT compliant, moreover, the Court concluded that the mill preserved the aquatic environment of the Uruguay River including the protection of its fauna and flora.
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 88 million tonnes worldwide in 2010. The small niche TCF market modestly declined retaining less than 5% of the bleached chemical pulp market.
"The growing market share is sending a clear message. When values such a price, performance and overall environmental integrity are considered, the technology choice 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. A full text version of the report is available by contacting AET online at AET's web site at www.aet.org.