On 14 February 2023, Pan Pac Forest Products’ Whirinaki site was hit by Cyclone Gabrielle, with silt flooding into buildings, causing significant damage to the plant. In many areas on site the water was 2m deep. Danny Eagleton, Pan Pac’s technical manager, says Pan Pac’s owner Oji Holdings was adamant from day one that the site would be rebuilt. There was even a silver lining. “This catastrophe has actually enabled us to bring forward some key projects,” noted Danny.
Pan Pac is a BCTMP mill with an annual capacity of 280,000 tonnes. It is situated in Whirinaki close to Napier on the North Island and has been running for 50 years. In 2012, a state-of-the-art screening and bleaching plant to produce the BCTMP grade was added. The wood raw material is Radiata pine, which enables Pan Pac to produce its world leading high bulk softwood BCTMP at two freeness levels: CSF 350 to 400, and 300 to 350, aimed at different applications largely for Asian markets.
As part of the mill’s recovery efforts, PulpEye was selected to provide a state-of-the-art on-line fibre analyser equipped with modules for freeness, fibre, and shives measurements, replacing an older analyser that was destroyed in the flood. And further opportunities are being considered for the future.
“We are delighted that Pan Pac decided to invest in a new PulpEye to be installed early 2024,” says Paul Watson, PulpEye’s representative in New Zealand. “One reason for buying a PulpEye was the opportunity to later add more modules and to integrate our PulpOnTarget software solution to utilise process data to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs, and deliver an even more consistent quality”.
“Pan Pac’s BCTMP pulp will soon re-enter the market and with our new PulpEye delivering fibre and pulp quality data we will ensure that high quality pulp is delivered to our customers from day one,” says Danny Eagleton.