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Steam rises again from Pan Pac

16 February 2024

Almost a year since Cyclone Gabrielle flooded Pan Pac’s mill site at Whirinaki, steam has begun rising from one of the stacks.

For nearly 50 years, Hawke’s Bay residents have been able to locate Pan Pac’s mill site by the billowing steam issuing from its boilers, pulpmill and kilns at Whirinaki. The boiler steam comes from bark and sawdust byproducts of the Pulp and Lumber operations and woody offcuts that have been salvaged from forest operations and converted into biofuel. This energy provides all of the energy required for the pulp and lumber drying and around 12% of the mill’s electricity needs.

However, almost a year ago, Cyclone Gabrielle flooded the site and put the whole site out of action. Pan Pac suffered NZ$300 million in damage to its business and forests from the cyclone, and the company and its staff have been working tirelessly to repair and rebuild ever since. Seeing the steam rising again from the Boiler 1 stack is a welcome sign that full operation is on the horizon, says Tony Clifford, Managing Director, Pan Pac Forest Products.

“Our Lumber operations began partial operations last week and our Pulp mill will be operational in March,“ says Tony. “We can’t wait to get back to business; it’s been a long road back to recovery, but we are grateful to all our staff, contractors, customers, suppliers and our shareholder for sticking with us throughout this process.”

Source: Hawke’s Bay App

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