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June 2006

Group explores pulp fuel cost reduction

Vancouver— Nexterra Energy Corp. announced that it has signed an agreement with Weyerhaeuser’s Kamloops Cellulose Fiber mill and Paprican, the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, to verify the application of Nexterra’s innovative gasification technology for pulp mill lime kilns.

Nexterra’s gasifier enables mill operators to significantly reduce fuel costs by converting boilers, kilns and dryers from natural gas to “syngas” - a clean, low-cost biofuel produced by gasifying wood residue.

“Reducing our fuel costs is a strategic priority for Weyerhaeuser, so we’re excited to be working with Nexterra and Paprican on a potential gasification solution for our lime kilns,” said Bill Adams, manufacturing services manager at the Weyerhaeuser Kamloops Mill. Adams said that the Nexterra gasifier system has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Kamloops mill by 25,000 tons per year. The 60 million Btu/hour gasification system would displace the equivalent amount of natural gas needed to heat 4,000 residential homes.

North America’s pulp and paper industry consumes 900 trillion Btu of natural gas and fuel oil each year at a cost of US$8 billion. There are 150 kraft pulp mills in North America, each consuming millions of dollars of natural gas or fuel oil in their lime kilns. Since the mid-1990s, the cost of natural gas has increased by 500 percent, leaving North America with some of the highest natural gas prices in the world and placing severe competitive pressures on North American forest companies.

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