WPI is a
WPI's wood processing operations are fully integrated with the Ernslaw One forestry division which, as the fourth largest foresty owner in New Zealand, manages Radiata pine and Douglas fir - Oregon forests in various locations throughout
The WPI wood processing operations produce a range of timber and pulp products derived from renewable plantations of Radiata pine for both
The WPI site operations include a pulpmill located in Karioi, Ohakune and WPI Timber sawmill located at Tangiwai in the Central North Island.
The Pulpmill started operating in 1978 when it was known as Winstone Samsung, to reflect a joint venture with a major Korean partner. Changes to the Korean pulp market resulted in the Winstone Group (which was then a publicly listed company) progressively buying out the Korean partner and becoming a true market pulp company.
In 1988, the Winstone Group was bought by Fletcher Challenge, and Winstone Pulp was on-sold to a Hong Kong investment company. At that stage the Company’s name was changed to Winstone Pulp International Ltd. The name “Winstone” was retained for marketing purposes.
Throughout the company’s history there has been a commitment to invest in resources and technology. This has grown the company to the benefit of shareholders and employees. It has also enabled the company to diversify its product range so that fluctuations in market prices are more easily absorbed.
The Pulpmill at Karioi is a good example of this. This Mill produces wood pulp that is used mainly for newsprint or paperboard manufacture. The production capacity of the Mill has more than doubled since it began in 1978. New plant, processes and technology were introduced to improve product quality to better meet customer requirements. This has enabled the company to expand its markets to the Pacific and Asia including such countries as China, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan and Australia.
Aside from pulp production, the company demonstrated its commitment to further diversify its product range and wood processing capability with the purchase of the Tangiwai Sawmill, located three kilometres from the Pulpmill, in 1993. The Tangiwai Sawmill was upgraded to a modern, high production facility with a capacity of over 100,000m3 per year. This purchase was consistent with the company’s intention to make the best possible use of the wood resource it owns.
Recognising the need to protect the Company’s processing operations in a world of diminishing wood supply, WPI purchased the Waimarino Forest in 1989 and the cutting rights to the Karioi Forest in 1990. Waimarino Forest is an established forest of 13,893 hectares and Karioi Forest is an established forest of 11,056 hectares.
In April 2008, Ernslaw One Ltd purchased WPI in its entirety and so became a company with, amongst its many business interests, a pulpmill in Karioi, and one sawmill located in Tangiwai along with an additional 24,500 hectares of plantation forest. As a result of these investments Ernsalw One Ltd and its subsidary WPI, has become one of the very few fully integrated forestry companies in New Zealand.