Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freshwater done.


September 28, 2010 - Samoa Pulp Mill Permanently Closed

Samoa, Ca - Freshwater Tissue Company announced the permanent closure of the
Samoa pulp mill. Evergreen Pulp, the prior owners of the pulp mill, closed
the mill in October of 2008 after a global collapse of the banking industry
left Evergreen insolvent.

Freshwater Tissue purchased the Samoa mill assets in February of 2009 with a
vision of converting the pulp mill to an integrated pulp and tissue plant
that would convert forest residuals into consumer-ready, eco-friendly toilet
paper. The projected cost of the plant conversion was $400 million. The
owners anticipated borrowing the funds from the Department of Energy.
Unfortunately, DOE loans were only available to green energy projects, such
as wind energy, solar energy, and the production of electric cars.

After failing to fund the integrated tissue mill project, Freshwater scaled
down its business plan and reduced its capital requirement to $30 million.
The company's new plan was to produce eco-friendly pulp, and it secured a
10-year sales contract for 100% of its production. Freshwater obtained all
necessary regulatory permits to re-open the mill, it received unprecedented
environmental and labor support, and it had bi-partisan government support.
When the company received notice from the U.S.D.A. that it qualified for a
$25 million loan guarantee Freshwater believed a loan was certain, but it
soon discovered banks would not loan against a government backed guarantee.

In a statement issued by Robert M. Simpson, Freshwater's President, Simpson
said "I am disappointed in our failure to re-start the pulp mill. We
exhausted all possible means of funding the project with the intention of
re-hiring union workers. Unfortunately, FDIC regulations made it impossible
for banks to finance startup projects like ours."

Freshwater reported that it has received an offer for its power and recovery
boiler. When asked about the offer Simpson said "we have two groups
interested in acquiring the boiler but we are not in contract and we don't
have any expectation as to when a sale will be completed." Simpson didn't
offer any details of Freshwater's future plans for the 156 acre industrial


Anonymous said...

A sad day for Humboldt County and Humboldt workers. Yet another industry run out of the county by extremism. The question remains wether we are finally fed up enough to open our doors to new business, new industries, and the jobs they bring or should we continue down the path we have been headed and turn away everyone who isn't certified as eco-groovy, dope friendly, or government dependant. I think the far out policies have failed long enough. It's time for a new plan and new people to carry it out.

Anonymous said...

Gee the tradition around here would be to make it into a Pulp Heritage Museum. It could also hold a great amusement park and bar that sells black liquor and white liquor drinks.

Anonymous said...

Well, by this time most former plant employee's lives have moved on and they've found new situations. Since many had worked there for long careers, they shouldn't have large expenses of new mortgages and young children. And can recieve a nice pension and SS to live comfortably on. Yeah, maybe the new truck, boat, RV, and hunting club membership might get delayed and the grandkids won't get so many toys.

Anonymous said...

Well hey, at least Tiger Woods got his $54,000,000.00 loan so he can have an oxygen room, marble bath, and all the other things that make America great. Who needs toilet paper when you have a bidet?

Anonymous said...

What were the chances that the pulp mill would ever be changed back to the Chlorine bleaching process? Boy, that sure gave the pulp mills a black eye with the breathing public back in the day!

Anonymous said...

Well then, better keep your job in politics, and live off the government

The rest of us will not be returning to Humboldt County

Anonymous said...

6:39 Actually a lot of them lost their life savings paying for health insurance while trying to find new jobs.When you are in your late 50's a lot of people don't want to hire you.

JMC said...

How is it that the working people of Humboldt are not being represented, oh yah they are trying to work for a living. Not only are they supporting their families but they are supporting the people that have the extremist view that has closed the Pulp Mill, held up the Balloon track.
Now that these people have seen to it that the Mill will never open again what will they do next to destroy our way of life? I am completely baffled at how one or two people can hamstring everything to promote an agenda that is so counter to the majority. Those who are supposed to represent us do little but look out for themselves. I say DUMP THEM ALL.

Anonymous said...

Well, if a lot of people don't want to hire people in their late fifties, they likely wouldn't have been hired by Freshwater either. People with marketable skills get jobs, eventually.

And mill people didn't lose those life savings. If they bought health insurance, they got insurance for their savings. And if two years of health premiums is their entire life savings by their mid 50's, they didn't prepare by saving enough. For many years they made wages far above average for this area. That excess should have gone to savings, not toys. The mill has gone bankrupt three times before. What more warning could someone have that the place had financial problems?

"Henchman Of Justice" said...

Extremism; or, selfish voters and dumbed-down potential employees? C'mon folks, take a little responsibility for being naive and lackadaisical when it comes to fascisms between government and businesses of many types that prey on a workforce too stupid to understand finances and economics, thus, the employee's whole greed for money and vices trip - let's refrain from the added pressure of marriage and money to please the Kings and Queen wannabees.

Too many people exist in the world to provide jobs for all who want a job without having to steal from Peter to Pay-Off Paulie in order to CREATE A JOB.

Besides, unions segregate labor through economic displacements just as a starter reference. I can't but help scratch my head trying to understand why Americans have so much faith in a dying system (a free-market system no longer as it has been inlaid with fascist players).

Jeffrey Lytle
McKinleyville - 5th District


It is a bad time to be a union lover!

Jeffrey Lytle
McKinleyville - 5th District