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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 25. 2nd October 1975

The fire-breathing multinational monster

The fire-breathing multinational monster

Seven miles north of Napier stands a newly-established saw and pulp mill with the unimpressive title of the Whirinaki Carter-Oji-Kokusaki-Pan Pacific Ground-wood Pulp Mill. Two giant Japanese paper companies, Oji and Sanyo Kokusaku each own a 20% share in the mill, the remainder belonging to the Carter-Holt Holdings Ltd.

Photo of a pulp mill

The mill has been built to supply sawn timber and woodpulp for use in Japan. A small proportion of the timber is retained by the Carter-Holt group for their own use in this country.

Most of the pine for the mill comes from the Kaingaroa State Forest However the Pan Pacific company is investing heavily in a programme to extend its own private exotic forests and ensure a continuing supply of timber.

Highly automated, power-intensive equipment has-been installed throughout, under the direction of engineers from the paper companies in Japan This means only three operators are employed on the sawmill floor, and only four in the groundwood pulp plant. To supply the huge quantity of electricity power consumed by this machinery, the NZ Electricity Department has built a sub-station right next door to the mill. When fully operational, this mill will draw off more power than is presently used by the whole city of Napier.

Water, the other essential resource for the pulping process, is pumped from the Esk River, near the mill, and is eventually pumped as waste through a submarine pipe-line 300 yards out into Hawkes Bay. Chemical pulp mills are notorious for their pollution, and we are investigating this part of the mill's operations

Norwegians and Japanese shipping lines are transporting the timber and pulpwood to Japan, where the sawn timber is distributed by the New Zealand-Nippon Trading Company owned jointly by Oji and Sanyo-Kokusaku. All the pulpwood is processed by the Oji Tomakomai paper mill, the largestnews-print mill in the world The Oji Paper Company itself is the biggest in Japan and, together with its affiliate Sanyo-Kokusaku, controls most of the market.

The company is proud of making Japan self- supporting in fibre resources for paper manufacturing. It also 'possessed' large forest reserves and factory sites which can be brought into use if necessary.