April 26, 2004

Introducing ECF Bleaching to Pulping Facilities at Iwakuni Mill

Nippon Unipac Holding Group
Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Takahiko Miyoshi), Japan's leading paper and pulp manufacturing company and a core member of the Nippon Unipac Holding Group, has commenced work to equip its kraft pulp production facilities with the elementary chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching process at Iwakuni Mill, located in the city of Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

With this project, the Company is making a capital investment of approximately 2.5 billion yen to modify the two kraft pulp bleaching process lines at Iwakuni Mill so that they employ the ECF bleaching process. With work having started in March 2004, the two lines are scheduled to be ready in June 2005 and January 2006 respectively.
The ECF bleaching process uses chlorine dioxide and adopts cutting-edge technologies such as the two-stage oxygen delignification system and the acid treatment system (high-temperature treatment with sulfuric acid). After the project is complete, these new facilities will improve operational and bleaching efficiency and will eliminate the consumption of chlorine and sodium hypochlorite, easing the environmental impact of chlorinated organic compounds such as chloroform.

Nippon Paper Industries has been active in applying ECF bleaching to kraft pulp bleaching under the Nippon Paper Industries Environmental Charter, adopted in April 1993 and last revised in August 2003. When this project is complete, ECF bleaching will have been introduced to nearly 75 percent of the processes throughout the Nippon Unipac Holding Group. As a core member of the Group, the Company will adopt initiatives for improvement with greater emphasis on reducing the environmental impact.