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Trends in World Bleached Chemical Pulp Production: 1990-2007

Summary

Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) pulp, bleached with chlorine dioxide, continues to dominate the world bleached chemical pulp market. In 2007, ECF production reached over 88 million tonnes, totaling more than 89% of world market share. Total ECF production increased by 12.6 million tonnes compared to 2005 levels. In contrast, TCF (Totally Chlorine-Free) production continued to decline, maintaining a small niche market at less than 5% of world bleached chemical pulp production.

ECF is acknowledged as a core component of Best Available Technology (BAT). New studies continue to document ECF’s compatibility with sustainable eco-systems, and papermaker’s desire for ECF’s superior product quality remains unabated. With such strong attributes, new bleached chemical production will come to the market using ECF-based bleaching technology

World Bleached Chemical Pulp Production Profile

In 2007, ECF commanded the highest worldwide market share at greater than 89%, totaling more than 88 million tonnes. ECF market share continues to grow in all pulp producing regions. This trend will continue as all new production planned in all producing regions will incorporate ECF bleaching.

World Bleached Chemical Pulp Production: 1990-2007

Scandinavia

In Scandinavia, ECF accounts for over 80% of bleached chemical pulp production. Conversely, TCF market share peaked in 1998, and has modestly declined over the last 10 years as a number of companies producing TCF on a campaign-basis have exited the market1. In addition, the only mill designed to produce exclusively TCF pulp, converted to ECF production. The company noted that2:

  • ECF pulp is more suitable to their customers processes;
  • ECF bleaching allowed the mill to increase production capacity by 45,000 tonnes per year;
  • ECF bleaching allowed higher pulp brightness without sacrificing pulp strength characteristics;
  • The four-stage ECF bleaching sequence is simpler;
  • Pulp strength properties are improved;
  • ECF bleaching allows the mill to terminate cooking at a higher kappa number, thereby increasing pulp yield; and
  • Impact to the aquatic environment is unchanged.

Scandinavian Bleached Chemical Pulp Production: 1990-2007

Japan

Japan produces approximately 8.5 million tonnes of bleached chemical pulp and began converting production to ECF in 1996. During the period 2005-2007, over 2 million tonnes of pulp converted to ECF. ECF now represents 88% of Japanese bleached chemical pulp production. Continued growth is consistent with the commitment made by the major bleached pulp producers in Japan to eliminate chlorine, and convert to ECF.

Japanese ECF Production: 1995-2007

North America

In North America, ECF production now represents 99% of bleached chemical pulp production. The transition to ECF was essentially completed in 2001 as the balance of U.S. production came into compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Cluster Rule. The Cluster Rule is based, in part, on ECF as Best Available Technology (BAT) for bleached paper grade kraft and soda mills3. Total production in North America has recently declined by approximately 1 million tonnes over the period 2005-2007.

North America Bleached Chemical Pulp Production: 1990-2007

South America

In South America, ECF production continues to grow rapidly. More than 4.5 million tonnes of new ECF production was added in the region since 2005. In 2007 ECF represented over 90% of bleached chemical pulp production.

South American ECF Production: 1992-2007

South Africa and South East Asia

Production of ECF pulp is also growing in the South East Asia region4. Significant ECF capacity was added in Indonesia and China in the period 2005-2007. In China where small mills are being shutdown, new larger mills are coming on stream and utilizing ECF bleaching technology. China’s ECF production increased from 1.1 million tonnes in 2005 to 2.6 million tonnes in 2007.

South Africa and South East Asia ECF Production: 1992-2007

Looking Ahead

Recent studies comparing ECF and TCF have reiterated ECF’s overwhelming product and yield advantages and ECF’s environmental compatibility with aquatic ecosystems5.

Over the next five years, bleached chemical pulp production was set to increase dramatically with significant expansions and new investments announced in Australia, Russia, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and Indonesia. More than 30 million tonnes of new production was planned or was on the drawing board. All of this new production was expected to be ECF.

However, much of planned additional new capacity expected in 2010 and beyond has now been delayed due to the recent economic slowdown and the declining pulp and paper market worldwide.

When the pulp and paper markets recover, ECF’s market share will continue to grow due to its acknowledged environmental compatibility, cost-competitiveness, and high quality desired by producers and users alike.

Appendix (ALL DATA IN MILLIONS OF TONNES*)

World

ECF
TCF
OTHER**
1990
4.4
0.2
64.0
1991
9.6
0.5
59.4
1992
17.2
1.4
53.1
1993
22.4
3.0
48.1
1994
29.2
4.7
42.1
1995
34.6
5.5
38.0
1996
38.0
5.3
36.3
1997
42.3
5.9

33.2

1998
45.9
5.8
30.5
1999
50.3
5.8
25.4
2000
56.0
6.0
21.2
2001
66.1
5.2
15.4
2002
67.7
6.1
15.3
2003
70.3
6.1
13.2
2004
72.0
6.1
11.5
2005
75.6
5.9

9.9

2006
79.7
5.5

8.3

2007
88.2
4.8

5.7

Scandinavia

 
ECF
TCF
OTHER
1990
3.16
0.18
6.47
1991
5.37
0.39
4.69
1992
8.94
0.77
2.00
1993
10.12
1.66
1.12
1994
11.94
2.84
0.00
1995
11.73
3.55
0.00
1996
11.63
3.35
0.00
1997
11.59
3.92
0.00
1998
11.03
4.02
0.00
1999
10.68
3.83
0.00
2000
9.99
3.83
0.00
2001
10.64
3.36
0.00
2002
11.13
3.24
0.00
2003
11.60
3.21
0.00
2004
11.60
3.21
0.00
2005
11.56
3.21
0.00
2006
11.56
3.21
0.00
2007
11.89
2.80
0.00

North America

 
ECF
TCF
OTHER
1990
1.15
0.00
37.1
1991
2.95
0.01
35.3
1992
5.42
0.05
32.8
1993
7.90
0.23
30.0
1994
11.50
0.27
26.5
1995
16.44
0.29
22.0
1996
18.47
0.24
20.6
1997
21.97
0.24
17.2
1998
24.62
0.25
14.2
1999
28.59
0.25
10.2
2000
31.38
0.25
7.4
2001
36.33
0.13
1.6
2002
36.4
0.13
1.8
2003
36.60
0.09
0.9
2004
36.22
0.09
0.7
2005
35.60
0.09
0.4
2006
37.70
0.09
0.4
2007
37.70
0.09
0.4

South America

 
ECF
TCF
OTHER
1990
0.00
0.00
4.84
1991
0.25
0.80
4.84
1992
0.08
0.03
4.37
1993
1.20
0.05
4.26
1994
1.61
0.11
3.76
1995
1.95
0.09
4.12
1996
2.30
0.06
3.82
1997
2.52
0.05
4.15
1998
2.73
0.02
4.15
1999
2.97
0.05
4.07
2000
3.88
0.04
3.83
2001
3.86
0.09
3.36
2002
4.62
0.10
3.07
2003
5.86
0.10
2.51
2004
7.16
0.10
1.95
2005
8.57
0.07
1.02
2006
10.49
0.07
1.02
2007
13.15
0.07
1.04

Rest of World
(Includes Eastern and Western Europe, Chile, Brazil, South East Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan)

 
ECF
TCF
OTHER
1990
0.1
0.0
15.6
1991
1.1
0.1
14.9
1992
2.1
0.5
13.9
1993
3.2
1.0
12.7
1994
4.2
1.5
11.8
1995
4.5
1.5
11.9
1996
5.6
1.7
11.9
1997
6.2
1.6
11.8
1998
7.5
1.5
12.1
1999
8.1
1.6
11.2
2000
10.8
1.9
10.0
2001
15.3
1.6
10.5
2002
15.5
2.7
10.4
2003
16.2
2.7
9.9
2004
17.0
2.7
8.9
2005
19.9
2.5
8.5
2006
23.0
2.1
6.9
2007
28.4
1.8
4.3

* All data has been rounded to the nearest tenth

** Pulp bleached with some molecular chlorine


Sources

The Alliance for Environmental Technology. Trends in World Bleached Chemical Pulp Production: 1990-2005. August 2006.

2007 AET International Survey

Notes

1Rodden, G. TCF Has Settled into It's Niche in the Market: It's a Mature Technology. Pulp & Paper International. August 2003.

2Botnia ECHO. 1. 2007. www.metsabotnia.com. March 9, 2006.

3Federal Register, Vol. 63, No. 72. April 15, 1998

4China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan

5ÅF-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.