Paper Excellence announced the plant’s closure on Wednesday, citing the the continued contraction of global paper markets and paper prices, particularly in Asia, as the main reason for the creation of continued significant financial losses at the Powell River mill.
« Despite the best efforts of the dedicated team of employees at the plant, the installation is simply not viable in the reality of today’s market conditions, ”a statement from Paper Excellence reads. .
The company is, however, interested in finding a long-term solution for the site to provide employment opportunities and economic activity in Powell River. It is unclear exactly how the plant will be used in the future, however, Paper Excellence says it is in talks with the government as well as investors with the goal of maximizing the facility’s unique access to the facility. deep water, natural gas, electricity and water supply. , as well as its existing biomass boiler with power generation capacity, wastewater treatment infrastructure and solid waste disposal.
Following the closure of the paper mill, Paper Excellence says a total of 206 employees will be affected by the decision.
“We recognize the extraordinary effort of this team of committed employees who have worked tirelessly since the restart in May 2021,” the company statement read.
“Where possible, the company plans to offer relocation or secondment opportunities to other Paper Excellence facilities in British Columbia where there are currently vacancies. The company will also respect and fulfill all obligations under collective agreements with UNIFOR Locals 1 and 76.
The company said it intended to protect the site, as well as the facility’s equipment, following the closure. Paper Excellence plans to remove all fibers and chemicals and will perform a general cleaning of the facility to eliminate environmental hazards.
Paper Excellence will continue to supply paper customers with output from its other paper mills in Crofton and Port Alberni, noting that it is committed to long-term investment in these locations.