Our Roots

Our roots are in the forests of Northeast Alberta, Canada, where we still proudly operate today. Since opening our doors in 1993, we have grown into one of the largest kraft pulp producers in North America and manage 5.9 million hectares of Alberta’s forests. Our operations continue to branch out through our team members and contractors and adapt to the evolving industry.

1941

The green area was established in Alberta; it identified the forest areas to be managed and protected. It prevented the indiscriminate sale and development of forested land. During this time, the creation of a forest inventory helped shaped agreements for perpetual sustainable yield, known as Forest Management Units (FMU) and are still used today.

1979

The Environment Council of Alberta recommends better utilization of forest resources, including poplar, and improved forest stewardship.

1986–1988

Premier Don Getty’s government awarded 85,000 square miles of leased land supporting the forest industry development in Alberta. The government initially approves the Alberta-Pacific project plan to build North America’s newest and largest single-line pulp mill.

1989

Environmental Impact Assessment Review Board is jointly established by the provincial and federal government to conduct an environmental review of the Al-Pac kraft pulp mill proposal. Public hearings were held in 11 communities. Total attendance exceeded 5000 residents and stakeholders.

 

1990

The final project plans are approved. Al-Pac would be the first in a new generation of pulp mills to meet the new higher environmental standards.

The mill will use elemental chlorine-free (ECF) technology to whiten its pulp, an industry-leading waste treatment facility to reduce the amount of organic material in its effluent. It generates enough electrical energy through the burning of wood waste in its power boiler to be self-sufficient in terms of heat and power.

1991

Construction of the mill begins; more than 3,200 skilled labourers work on the project. The Alberta government approves Al-Pac’s Forest Management Agreement – the largest FMA area in Canada at 58,000 km2.

1992

The Forest Management Task Force (FMTF) is established and includes participants from government, forest companies, user groups and Aboriginal communities.

 

1993

The first harvest begins in our FMA area. The mill has been completed under budget and on time.

The first pulp is produced in August, and the official opening of the Al-Pac Millsite was September 1. Shared ownership of Al-Pac by Crestbrook Forest Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and Kanzaki Paper.

1994

Al-Pac is quickly establishing itself as one of the industry’s leading producers of high-quality kraft pulp while demonstrating environmental excellence in all aspects of its operation.

1995

Al-Pac participates in the establishment of the Sustainable Forest Management Network of Canada. The organization examines how to manage resources sustainably by considering traditional forestry practices, forest ecosystems, the economy and the communities that rely on the industry.

International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 9002 certification (manufacturing systems and quality assurance) is attained; The ISO is the world’s most recognized quality management standard for companies and organizations of any size.

The Al-Pac Millsite set a world record for single-day hardwood pulp production of 2,090 air-dried metric tonnes.

1996

An Operator’s Guide to Stand Structure is published; – Stand structure refers to the forest’s physical aspect, including live trees, standing dead trees, fallen dead trees, other vegetation, roots and mineral soil.

Al-Pac is the first forest company in Canada to offer an in-house environmental education program. Started a partnership with Inside Education, a non-profit organization that provides Albertan students and teachers with science-based environmental education on forestry, oil and gas, energy, water and waste in Alberta.

1997

A log yard fire at the Millsite destroys 5% of our wood inventory, estimated to be over a million-dollar loss. The first harvested block begins a regeneration survey. The FMTF has completed the Detailed Forest Management Plan (DFMP) draft as one of the FMA requirements.

1998

Crestbrook Forest Industries sells its share of Al-Pac to the other two participants, Mitsubishi and Oji. The Al-Pac FMA agreement is renewed, and Crown loans have been paid back in full to the Alberta Government.

Alberta Forest Products Association’s FORESTCARE program certifies Al-Pac.

Set a new record log haul of 524 truckloads to the mill in one day.

1999

Alberta Environment approves our first Detailed Forest Management Plan. This plan is a technical document describing forest management objectives, strategies and commitments. The planning time frame is 200 years; this generally represents two full life cycles, or “rotations,” for trees in the FMA.

Al-Pac initiates Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) with the Alberta Chamber of Resources and various energy companies. The program aims to integrate sustainable forest management, sound knowledge-based research and best practices to reduce resource development activities’ cumulative ‘footprint.’

A behaviour-based safety program, Safely Managing Accident Risks Together (SMART), is initiated. The program strives to focus on workers’ attention on their own and their peers’ daily safety behaviour. The program mandates management and team members to focus their attention and actions to keep facilities safe consistently.

We planted our 10-millionth conifer seedling.

2000

Alberta’s Special Places 2000 focused on establishing new protected areas representing the province’s environmental diversity, and 412,388 hectares in and near our FMA area was selected to be a part of the 81 new sites.

2001

We achieved IOS 14001 certification of our environmental management system. This accredited certification ensures international industry-specific environmental standards.

Al-Pac joins Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification. To become PAR Gold certified, Al-Pac demonstrated sustained leadership in Aboriginal relations and a commitment to working with local Aboriginal businesses and communities. The introduction of innovative programs and Aboriginal people’s engagement has made an enduring impact and demonstrate best practices for other companies.

Portage College and Al-Pac sign a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement includes implementing co-operative programs and work placements, professional development, such as employee exchanges, resource sharing, like classroom space or computer equipment and the development of specific program-related training.

2002

Set a world record for single-day production of 2,111 tonnes of hardwood kraft pulp.

Al-Pac and Ducks Unlimited Canada sign a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a conservation plan for the FMA area.

The House River Fire devastated 250,000 hectares of the Al-Pac FMA area.

Al-Pac achieves Kodak Certified Supplier status. Kodak’s certification criteria consist of five elements: quality management system, quality of product/service, on-time delivery performance, lead time expectations and year on year productivity.

2003

Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of production.

Al-Pac adopted a continuous improvement philosophy where team members set to work to find greater efficiencies. This focus helps increase production— a single-day softwood production record of 1,941 tonnes.

The first log haul transportation by railcar commences.

The Poplar Farming Program is initiated on private land. The program is designed to ensure a supply of high-quality fibre is close to the mill while providing crop diversification options for local landowners.

Al-Pac is certified to the ISO 17025 standard. Our laboratory and testing demonstrated that the company operates competently and generates valid results, thereby promoting confidence in our work nationally and worldwide.

2004

Initiated the process to certify our forest under Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification. Recognized as one of the most stringent forest certification systems globally, FSC®’s principles and criteria for Forest Stewardship are based on being environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management practices.

Through sponsorship activities, community projects, educational and environmental programs and our team members’ volunteer efforts, we supported 125 different local organizations.

Our environmental education (in-classroom presentations and operational tours) grew exponentially since 1996, increasing from 150 students and 15 teachers to over 4,000 students and 400 teachers.

2005

FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL® CERTIFIED

FSC® certification includes ten principles that our operation adheres to. These principles cover a broad range of issues, from maintaining high conservation values to community relations and workers’ rights, as well as monitoring the environmental and social impacts of forest management. FSC® Certification assures consumers that the forest has been harvested in an environmentally sound way.

52 landowners have partnered with Al-Pac in the Poplar Farming Program.

2006

To make a meaningful contribution to greenhouse gas emissions reductions, Al-Pac establishes a goal to follow the principles of the Kyoto Accord. Through Al-Pac’s stringent carbon management efforts, the pulp mill operation became carbon neutral in 2006 – two years ahead of target.

2007

Operating license renewal is received from the Government of Alberta, including the detailed Forest Management Plan.

SOX Compliance introduced. SOX compliance improves the accuracy of corporate disclosures by increasing transparency in financial reporting through a formalized system of checks and balances.

2008

Completion of the new Woodroom project – $40 million upgrades allow the Woodroom to be more efficient and productive.

Al-Pac – Bigstone Cree Nation Working Agreement is signed. This important agreement outlines the ways in which both parties will collaborate to implement mutually beneficial partnership opportunities in the areas of community engagement and economic development.

Integrated Land Management (ILM) recognizes Al-Pac as a success story for the past decade of using ILM practices in everyday business. Al-Pac and Opti/Nexen demonstrated company-to-company cooperation by integrating the two companies’ land-use; as an effort to reduce and share the industrial footprint. It resulted in harvesting 30 percent fewer trees. The ILM project received a Silver Premier’s Award of Excellence in 2008.

2009

Al-Pac’s signature program – the Road to Hope Community Support Foundation, is founded. Volunteer drivers take cancer patients to and from their medical treatments outside of their community. In addition to transportation, the foundation offers much-needed support to cancer patients and their families.

Al-Pac receives funding from the Government of Canada’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. The program makes investments that improve energy efficiency and the environmental performance of their facilities.

2010

Received five-year certification from the Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance works in more than 70 countries to promote sustainable land management practices and cultivate thriving rural economies.

Public consultation and project plans start for renewable power, intending to enhance and reinforce power transmission in the Athabasca area.

Al-Pac began the initial stages of a multi-year project that involved the replacement of Honeywell’s TDC 3000. The project involves extensive engineering\implementation from the operator control consoles to field wiring.

2011

Constructed and commissioned a 30 km, 138 kv transmission line; installed a power substation; a condensing steam turbine and generator to produce additional power by capturing low-pressure steam that has already travelled through existing turbines and removing any residual energy from it. The process is called “steam recycling” because it uses steam the mill already generated to produce green power.

Chief Gordon T. Auger and Al Ward – Al-Pac President and COO, sign Bigstone Cree Nation and Al-Pac Working Agreement extension. The agreement commits to building a solid working relationship, a positive two-way communication protocol and mutual respect for Al-Pac and Bigstone interests.

2012

Participated in a year-long transport study alongside the Alberta Government for the use of 10-axle trucks. New regulations of 9-axle vehicles help bring more fibre to the Millsite with fewer trips.

Poplar land lease project is completed. Roughly 10,000 hectares of leased land is planted with approximately 9.4 million hybrid poplar trees since the program began.

Power Export Expansion Project continues. Steam produced from the burning of black liquor, in conjunction with hog fuel, allows Al-Pac to be self-sufficient in producing energy for the Millsite. Al-Pac generates enough power to serve the Millsite and sells the excess to the Alberta Power Pool, supplementing local communities’ energy needs.

2013

SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) Certification Attained. The SFI standard covers key values such as protecting biodiversity, species at risk and wildlife habitat, sustainable harvest levels, protection of water quality and prompt regeneration. SFI is a voluntary third-party forest certification that started in the 1990s in response to world concerns about forest management and illegal logging – primarily in developing countries.

Construction began on phase one of the Trout River access road, approximately 185 km north of the Millsite. Once completed, the 75 km road will provide secure access to fibre for the duration of the road’s lifetime. All of the construction contractors are community-based.

2014

Commissioning of the Methanol Project has begun. Methanol is a by-product of the kraft pulp process. Technology developed specifically for this project results in grade ‘AA’ methanol (99.85 wt%). Separating and purifying methanol on-site will reduce the need to purchase and transport methanol from South America and diversify Al-Pac’s product line.

Al-Pac received carbon neutrality. Carbon neutrality is achieved by calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of efficiency measures and emission reduction projects.

The Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) is launched. The apprenticeship program is for high school students. It helps students gain experience and accumulate hours toward a ticket while attending high school full-time.

2015

Al-Pac is purchased in a private sale and is now owned by Hokuetsu Corporation. Our parent company’s five main business areas are paper, white paperboard, specialty paper, paper processing and pulp.

A signing ceremony between Al-Pac and the Peerless Trout First Nation Chief and Council. This agreement, evergreen in nature, articulates the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation that the First Nation and Al-Pac has and will continue to cultivate.

2016

Al-Pac Pulp Sales Incorporated, Al-Pac Forest Products Incorporated and Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. was amalgamated under the name Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.

Chemicals by Rail project is approved. Construction of a new rail spur line and rail car unloading facility will allow three chemicals (crystal sodium chlorate, sulfuric acid and caustic soda) to be delivered by rail.

Al-Pac and Northlands Forest Products Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to find efficiencies and cost savings in our forest planning and Woodlands operations.

Hokuetsu Corporation and the Government of Alberta announce enhanced collaboration to develop Cellulose NanoCrystals (CNC) for commercial applications. The collaboration with InnoTech Alberta and Alberta Innovates will further the development of CNC, a novel, green, nanomaterial produced through the pulp process.

2017

The product line expanded to include the production of commercial-grade bio-methanol. The innovative process designed for Al-Pac operations creates several new products for sale that are used in our everyday lives.

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Canada, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia and The Boreal Platform attended a Boreal Plains Tour. Attendees discussed and shared resourceful information on sustainable forest practices.

Ducks Unlimited Canada and forestry leaders launched an innovative approach to collaboration on Boreal Forest Wetland Conservation. The coalition will work towards establishing wetland conservation guiding principles and best management practices.

2018

Al-Pac celebrates 25 years. Hon. Oneil Carlier presented Al-Pac with a plaque on behalf of the Government of Alberta in recognition of the commitment to environmental performance and excellence in innovation. The County of Athabasca presented Al-Pac with a plaque in tribute to our long-standing relationship.

Awarded the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Leadership Award for managing more than 14.5 million acres of FSC®-certified forest, the largest contiguous area certified in the world.

The world’s largest contiguous area of boreal protected land is established in northern Alberta through a five-way partnership. The land area amounts to more than 6.7 million hectares of boreal forest.

Road to Hope – Al-Pac’s signature charity, provides 141 trips for cancer patients through 18 volunteer drivers.

2019

Al-Pac’s wood yard got a new addition as the North Portal Crane was successfully lifted. The new crane has been engineered to withstand Alberta’s various weather conditions by incorporating cold weather steel into the design.

One of our seven quota holders, Northland Forest Products Ltd. (NFPL), achieved Forest Stewardship Council® certification (FSC® C022642). This certification demonstrates that responsible forestry is being practiced within our FMA area.

The successful conclusion of the Modernization Program, through the combined efforts of Al-Pac and Autopro Automation teams, plant operational risks have been minimized, and opportunities to reduce total project cost over the life of this ten-year project are capitalized.

2020

Transitioned the Vancouver functions (Sales & Logistics) to our Edmonton location.

The global pandemic – COVID-19’s first wave hits Alberta in March 2020. Al-Pac adjusts to remote work, new schedules for shift workers and heightened health and safety measures. Named an essential service by the Government of Alberta, Al-Pac continues production to meet its customers’ needs. Recognizing that many additional Albertans are in need during this time, donations to Athabasca Food Bank, the Waskaysoo Community Food Bank, the Boyle Food Bank, the Lac La Biche Native Friendship Centre Association, Lac La Biche Victim Services and Hope Haven Women’s Shelter are made, totaling over $55,000.

Construction begins on the Stack Heat Recovery Project. The project consists of a heat recovery system that captures heat from the facilities` flue gas stream. The recovered flue gas heat will be used in the water system rather than gas for heating. Steam creates additional “green” energy using a Condensing Steam Turbine. The project will generate approximately 70,000 mW-hr of power per year and reduces Al-Pac’s carbon footprint.

The Global COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts us all.

Read Al-Pac's COVID-19 Statement.