Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)

Paper Excellence shuts Mackenzie pulp mill, investing in Port Alberni, Crofton

Powell River paper production set to resume in May

After a decade reviving the Mackenzie B.C. pulp mill with new investment, Paper Excellence is closing it permanently and putting its investment focus on other B.C. operations with better economic prospects.

The company is making a $13 million capital investment in its Port Alberni mill to produce higher-value paper products, and is “working towards making a significant capital investment in its Crofton facility,” Paper Excellence said in a statement April 15. It is also restarting one of two paper machines at its Powell River mill in early May.

Mackenzie, a small community north of Prince George, has seen a collapse of its forest industry as the Interior pine beetle epidemic wound down and the three sawmills that historically provided wood waste to the pulp mill also went down.

“Since acquiring the Mackenzie mill in 2010, Paper Excellence has invested more than $360 million in the facility,” the company said. “However, despite these investments and the committed team of employees in Mackenzie, the facility’s small production capacity and the ongoing lack of local economic fibre meant the mill could not be globally competitive.”

The company said it is offering to relocate its Mackenzie employees to other facilities. It plans to restart its mill in Prince Albert, Sask., and pay severance under its union contract with UNIFOR local 1092. The Mackenzie operation was originally curtailed in June 2020 due to market demand reduction from COVID-19 and the lack of local fibre supply, with a small crew assigned to care and maintenance.

RELATED: Paper Excellence upgrading Port Alberni paper mill

RELATED: Mackenzie residents rally after three sawmill closures

Paper Excellence has extensive holdings in Canada and Brazil, where it grows and processes eucalyptus pulp. Its B.C. operations include a distribution centre in Surrey and mills at Skookumchuck in the East Kootenay as well as Port Alberni, Crofton, Powell River and Howe Sound, which has operated since 1909.

The company endorses the B.C. government’s plan to shake up the forest licence structure in B.C.

“Paper Excellence looks forward to the B.C. government’s continued focus on competitive mid-term timber supply and modernization of forest policy, while ensuring equitable distribution of access to forest tenures to support the diversity and competitiveness of the sector and the production of high-value products.”

The company’s pulp is used in products from household tissue to office supplies and fibre cement, with sales in 45 countries around the world.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsforestry

Just Posted

RDEK is calling for nominations for their Volunteer of the Year award in all six electoral districts.
RDEK posts operating surplus as pandemic reduces costs

The RDEK has posted a operational surplus of $8 million as local… Continue reading

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

Fernie Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner has committed to two more years with the team. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press
Fernie Ghostriders coach departs: Wagner moves to Coquitlam

Jeff Wagner will move to the Lower Mainland as associate coach and director of scouting with the Coquitlam Express

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read