International Paper acquires product and power plants from Weyerhaeuser

International Paper (NYSE: IP) on Dec. 1 announced that it has completed its acquisition of Weyerhaeuser‘s pulp business for approximately $2.2 billion in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments.

That buy also included several QF power plants at facilities in the U.S., plus a power plant in Canada.

“This transaction positions International Paper as the premier global supplier of fluff pulp and enhances our ability to generate additional cash flow,” said International Paper Chairman and CEO Mark Sutton.

In this transaction, International Paper acquired five pulp mills and two converting facilities that produce fluff pulp, softwood pulp, and specialty pulp products for a number of consumer applications including diapers, other hygiene products, tissue, and textiles.  The acquired business has approximately 1,900 employees around the world, with manufacturing operations based in Canada, Poland and the U.S. (in Mississippi, Georgia and North Carolina).

The combined businesses will be called Global Cellulose Fibers, led by senior vice president Jean-Michel Ribieras.

International Paper is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa, Asia and Russia. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., it employs roughly 55,000 colleagues located in more than 24 countries. Net sales for 2015 were $22 billion.

In a related move, on Dec. 8, Weyerhaeuser NR Co. told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission it seeks to cancel its market-based rate tariff. “Weyerhaeuser NR has sold the qualifying cogeneration and small power production facilities from which it could sell energy and capacity and is no longer conducting activity under its market-based tariff,” it said. “The closing date for the final transaction in which Weyerhaeuser NR sold qualifying cogeneration or small power production facilities was December 1, 2016. Weyerhaeuser NR has no active contracts for sales under its market-based tariff and this cancellation affects no purchasers.”

The Alberta Utilities Commission on Nov. 25 approved a Nov. 7 application from International Paper Canada Pulp Holdings ULC for the transfer of ownership of a 48-MW plant in the Grande Prairie area from Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd. to International Paper. The ownership transfer was previously applied for, but a delay on sale closing caused need for a re-approval.

On July 11, FERC okayed an application from Weyerhaeuser NR and International Paper for the acquisition by International Paper of four pulp mills and one modified fiber mill, which include five qualifying facilities (QFs) totaling 243.05 MW of QF generation. Of the total, 64 MW are located within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) balancing authority area (BAA), 140.95 MW are located within the Southern Company Services (SOCO) BAA, and 38.1 MW are located within the Carolina Power & Light (CPLE) BAA. The sites of the five mills with associated QFs are:

  • Columbus, Mississippi – The Columbus Facility is located in Lowndes County in Columbus, Mississippi, within the TVA BAA. The facility has a capacity of 64 MW.
  • Flint River, Georgia – The Flint River facilities are located within the SOCO BAA, and include two generating units: Turbine Generator No. 1 is a qualifying topping-cycle cogen and has a capacity of 43.75 MW; and Turbine Generator No. 2 is a condensing steam generator facility and has a capacity of 28 MW.
  • Port Wentworth, Georgia – The Port Wentworth Facility is located within the SOCO BAA. It is a qualifying cogeneration facility and has a capacity of 69.2 MW.
  • New Bern, North Carolina – The New Bern Facility is located within the CPLE BAA. It is a qualifying cogeneration facility and has a capacity of 38.1 MW.
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.