International Paper sees delay with Alberta power plant buy

Due to a delay in a sale closing, International Paper Canada Pulp Holdings ULC applied Nov. 7 with the Alberta Utilities Commission for a re-approval of a power plant transfer.

The application, dated Nov. 2 and filed Nov. 7, noted that Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd. plans to sell to International Paper a power plant located in the Grande Prairie area, with an original capacity of 32 MW which was later expanded to 48 MW.

International Paper has a deal to purchase Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business. The acquisition includes five pulp mills, including the facility located in Grande Prairie and the subject power plant. The transaction was originally anticipated to close on or about Nov. 1. The AUC on Sept. 29 had approved the transfer application to be effective as of Nov. 1.

But, the closing date of the transaction has since been moved. The transaction is now expected to close in early December (the expected date is Dec. 1, 2016), but is still subject to change. At the latest, the transaction is expected to close on or before Dec. 9, 2016. Due to the change in the closing date, International Paper is submitting this new application. Said the application: “We will provide the AUC with written confirmation of the actual closing date of the transaction as soon as reasonably practicable.”

On May 2, Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY) announced an agreement to sell its Cellulose Fibers pulp mills to International Paper for $2.2 billion in cash. The transaction includes five pulp mills located in: Columbus, Miss.; Flint River, Ga.; New Bern, N.C., Port Wentworth, Ga. and Grande Prairie, Alberta, with a combined total capacity of nearly 1.9 million metric tons. The sale also includes two modified fiber mills in Columbus, Miss., and Gdansk, Poland.

“This transaction delivers compelling value for Weyerhaeuser shareholders and further focuses our portfolio as we work to be the world’s premier timber, land, and forest products company,” said Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer.

Weyerhaeuser Co., one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. It owns or controls more than 13 million acres of timberlands, primarily in the U.S., and manage additional timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.