Prince Albert pulp mill gets new owner
May 12, 2011 – The Prince Albert Pulp Mill in Saskatchewan is open and moving toward a full restart of pulp operations and biomass power production.
May 12, 2011 By SK Energy & Resources
May 12, 2011 – The Prince Albert Pulp Mill
in Saskatchewan is open for the first time in five years and moving toward a
full restart of pulp operations and biomass power production. Paper
Excellence has finalized its purchase of the facility, which has been shut
since 2006. The Saskatchewan government is committed to supporting the mill
restart and has concluded all arrangements with Paper Excellence. Government
commitments include provision of an adequate fibre supply, a biomass power
purchase agreement with SaskPower, an agreement to maintain the existing
environmental liability for a period of time when the mill operated as a Crown
Corporation prior to 1986, and new pension plan agreements that respect the
obligations to previous employees. The government is also providing a letter of
commitment for the $500,000/year that it is allocating towards training new
mill operators in new mill processes during the mill's first two years of
operation under its new owners.
Paper Excellence will be investing more
than $200 million to convert the mill so that it can produce dissolving pulp.
At least 200 direct jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs will be brought back to
the community as the mill restarts. Paper Excellence is embarking on an
accelerated restart program with a targeted restart timeline of 12 months,
ensuring that the mill is operational by the second quarter of 2012, notes Ed
Roste, Paper Excellence's Canadian vice-president of operations. The company
has begun hiring for key personnel in Prince Albert. Engineering contracts are
being negotiated, as are key equipment purchases.
The new timeline for restarting the mill
will require major forest harvest activity no later than late fall 2011. Roste
says that discussions are advancing well with industry and First Nations
partners, government, and a number of support operations.
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