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

Nuxalk Nation members Son Khwona (left) and her daughter, Rhonda Sandoval, help guide Moosemeat & Marmalade co-stars Dan Hayes (from left) and Art Napoleon on Monday, May 10 while foraging in the bush during the filming of season six of the APTN show this week in the Bella Coola Valley. (Olivia Vanderwal photo)
Popular APTN food docuseries filiming in Bella Coola Valley this week

Majority of episodes focus on fishing, foraging, hunting, and visiting small, local, organic farms

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Hunlen Falls empties into Lonesome Lake on the left. (Ric Careless photo)
Donations fuel successful Lonesome Lake purchase by BC Parks Foundation

It took only four weeks for the donations to come in

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

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

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

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

Most Read