In addition to Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft, Peace River Pulp also produces Northern Bleached Hardwood Kraft (“NBHK”) – a premium pulp grade that is prized for its reinforcing role in many materials including tissue, high quality publishing paper, and specialty products such as décor home products and is sought after by producers of paper in the publishing industry, primarily for magazines and advertising materials.

Production Process

NBHK pulp utilizes short fibres sourced from northern deciduous tree species, specifically Aspen species which grows in the areas surrounding the mill. This is possible because of Peace River's strategical location in the Boreal Forest region of Alberta. The surrounding procurement area holds a significant supply of slow growing aspen hardwood and spruce softwood. The process used to convert wood into NBHK pulp is a sulphate (kraft) cooking process. The woodchips are chemically cooked to separate the cellulose (the fibers) from the hemicellulose, lignin and extractives (the chemical compounds that hold the fibers together). Once the fibers are separated, they are washed, bleached, formed into sheets and dried. The sheets are packaged and shipped to customers around the world.

Market Fundamentals

NBHK pulp is most demanded by specialty paper makers who produce gravure, a high quality paper that allows images and text to be engraved onto the paper, as opposed to ink being applied onto a surface. Common uses of gravure paper are packaging, wallpapers and gift wraps.