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March 31, 2013
Contact: Doug Pryke

Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp Production Growth Accelerates

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

(Toronto, March 31, 2013) - For the 22nd year in a row Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) pulp increased its share of the world bleached chemical pulp market. ECF captured greater than 93% market share in 2012, again confirming ECF as the best available bleaching technology for chemical pulps. This growth of ECF is documented in “Trends in World Bleached Pulp Production: 1990 - 2012,” a report released today by the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET).

“The growth of ECF continues,” said Douglas C. Pryke, Executive Director of AET. “ECF pulp production is projected to grow by more than 10 million tonnes over the next 5 years. The new production will come from Brazil, Uruguay and China,” 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. Furthermore, the report reiterated that there is no significant difference in biological impact on the aquatic environment when comparing ECF and Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) bleaching effluents1

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 the UPM Frey Bentos mill in Uruguay. The ICJ noted that the mill employed an ECF bleaching process and as such was BAT compliant. The Court also concluded that the mill preserved the aquatic environment of the Uruguay River including the protection of its fauna and flora2 .

The AET report documents yearly pulp production data since 1990 for ECF, TCF, and conventionally bleached pulp. As documented, ECF pulp production grew to 94 million tonnes worldwide in 2012. The small niche TCF market declined modestly 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

1ÅF-Process, AMEC and Beca AMEC. Review of ECF and TCF Bleaching Processes and Specific Issues Raised in the WWF Report on Arauco Valdivia. Prepared for Resource Planning  and Development Commission. Tasmania, Australia. May 2006.
2International Court of Justice Judgement. Case Concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay). The Hague, Netherlands. April 20, 2010.