A natural disaster that struck New Zealand has also left its mark on the New Zealand pulp and forestry group Pan Pac Forest Products. Cyclone Gabrielle ravaged the country starting on 12 February, causing flooding that destroyed one of the company’s sites.
On its website, the company announced that the Whirinaki site was closed until further notice. The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that, following assessments of the storm damage, Pan Pac had decided to rebuild the mill rather than closing it down permanently or moving it elsewhere.
Pan Pac is owned by Japanese pulp and paper group Oji Holdings. The company makes bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP) in Whirinaki, which is located in the Hawke's Bay region of north-eastern New Zealand. With a daily capacity of 850 t, the mill makes pulp sold all over the world and is also home to a sawmill. Pan Pac operates another sawmill in Milburn in the Otago region in the very south of the country. The two sawmills have a combined radiata pine lumber capacity of 530,000 m³ per year. The firm also owns several forest estates.