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The Final Word by Jim Thompson
All the talk is about the high price of energy, but pulp and pulpable wood chips will probably be next on the complaint list. Market pulp is already at high prices. In North America, chips for pulp are now competing with plants making pellets for export to coal-fired power plants, primarily in Europe. These pellets help the power plants meet environmental constraints.

We will soon relearn the lessons of our predecessors: if you want to be in control of your business, start with being in control of your feedstock and energy sources. Decades ago, the Lukes (the family that founded West Virginia Pulp and Paper, later Westvaco, now MeadWestvaco) ran their own coal mines in West Virginia to supply energy to their mills in Covington, Virginia, and Luke, Maryland. They also owned most of the timberlands necessary to supply raw materials to these mills. Looks like a pretty smart strategy now, doesn’t it?

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