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Management Side
Week of 4 December 2017: A reminder

Email Jim at jthompson@taii.com

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A year ago, President Obama was in the White House. President Trump was President-elect Trump. We knew change was coming and although we might have had some idea of the changes coming, we did not know to what extent or how it would affect our businesses.

I have said for a long time, energy is all political (welcome to Energy Month at Paperitalo). As a political matter, the cost of energy does not necessarily obey the laws of supply and demand or act in any way like a true commodity. Certainly, it does in the short run, but never in the long run. My career, going back to the early 1970's, attests to this.

Thus, I have told you before, never tear out energy assets just because they don't happen to be economical at the moment. This is counter to what I say about every other asset in your mill--there I say, if you no longer need it, I want to see fresh grass coming up where it used to be. Energy assets are different. Energy assets are turned on and off based on local, national and international energy and climate policy. So, once you have invested in something here, carefully preserve it when it is out of style, then quickly start it up and shut down the whipping boy of the day when the winds change.

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Save the date! The Pulp and Paper Industry Reliability and Maintenance conference, sponsored by IDCON and Andritz, will be held March 19-22, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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I am being apolitical about this, and although I certainly have my viewpoints, they don't belong in this conversation. I am giving you sound business advice based on history.

Although it does not affect our mills much inside the fence (it may impact our mills when it comes to transportation), the poster child for this year's shift in energy policy is the XL pipeline coming across mid-America from Canada. In the Obama years, this pipeline had no chance of being approved for construction and operation. Yet, the new administration did approve it. The final approval hurdle rested with the state government. A week before the state government was to issue its final approval, the existing portion of the pipeline had a leak to the tune of 200,000 gallons. The state approved it anyway. This is an excellent example of the change in politics affecting energy decisions.

Coal seems to be back in favor as well, or at least not so doomed that you need to plan on shutting down your last coal boiler next week (unless it makes economic sense).

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: We are a large automation company that has a line of consistency transmitters, sample valves and sheet break detectors that are marketed through a rep. network. We are seeking someone with a strong background in consistency control to facilitate start-ups, provide troubleshooting and technical advice. The individual should have experience in all major types of consistency measurement technologies (blade, rotary, microwave and optical). Knowledge of sheet break detection technology is desirable as well. Willingness to travel to paper production facilities across the US is a must.

Travel & Living Expenses to be reimbursed along with an agreed upon daily per diem rate.

For more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: jthompson@taii.com Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412

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You may have personal opinions, passionate personal opinions, on energy sources. Your company may have put a stake in the ground and said they will never use _________ (fill in the blank) as a source of energy again. This is all fine and good and may represent policies you choose to follow regardless of economics.

My point is simply this--keep those out of favor energy assets safely mothballed--you may want to/need to use them again someday.

For safety this week, I do not know of an energy asset of any type that does not have safety issues. Even the solar panels on our house have caused Georgia Power to place a big warning sticker on our external electrical service breaker cautioning workers that this house contains a power source other than the grid. Energy sources are just that--energy sources. They involve heat, high voltage and often large, rotating machinery. Make sure only those trained and necessary to be around them are.

Be safe and we will talk next week.
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It is advertising sales season, and we have produced the best media kit we have ever put together. Ask me for a copy today and put my feet to the fire--make me explain it to you. You can get one by calling me on my cell phone--404-822-3412--or emailing me at jthompson@taii.com. As we have been saying, if you like our innovative ways of presenting the news about the pulp and paper industry, I'll suggest you do the following. If you are in a mill and like what you see here, please tell your suppliers what you like to read and who you would like to see them support with their advertising budgets. If you are a supplier, please be aware (we know) we are first in news, (we think) we have the largest audience in the pulp and paper industry worldwide and (we know) we have the lowest advertising costs.

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Jim Thompson is back again...with a new book on a taboo subject: the personalities in the pulp & paper industry. Jim has written in the past on many subjects based on his four plus decades in the worldwide pulp and paper industry. This new book is packed full of information valuable to the senior member of the industry as well as the recent entrant. A must for every pulp and paper library.

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Nip Impressions has been honored for Editorial Excellence by winning a Tabbie Award!

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