Jan. 20, 2023 - Paper Excellence announced today that it will invest nearly $50 million to upgrade its Crofton mill's paper operations and towards reductions in its carbon footprint. The investment sees the restart of its C2 paper machine putting over 100 employees back to work.
At this time, the C3 paper machine at Crofton will remain indefinitely curtailed, the company said.
Paper Excellence curtailed paper production on the mill's two paper machines in early December 2022 due to weakening Chinese paper markets and escalating costs of chemicals, energy and wood fiber.
"This investment will enhance the development of innovative products that replace banned plastics with renewable paper while significantly reducing carbon emissions," said Stew Gibson, Chief Operating Officer for Paper Excellence Canada.
Gibson said that the company has been working closely with Provincial and Federal Governments to restore value-added manufacturing jobs at Crofton.
"The Government of Canada has contributed $14.3 million through Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and the Government of British Columbia contributed $4.5 million in provincial funds to help make today's announcement possible," added Gibson.
The C2 paper machine will be transformed to produce stronger, water-resistant paper grades that can replace single-use plastics. The investment also reduces natural gas consumption through more efficient use of waste bark fuel in the mill's boiler. The result is a simultaneous improvement in Crofton's competitiveness while reducing 26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the company said.
"We thank our partners in both the federal and British Columbia governments for their support towards this important project and the benefits to the surrounding community," Gibson said. "These contributions are absolutely essential to restarting the paper operations and securing these rural jobs at the site."
Paper Excellence noted that it will be working alongside Unifor Local 1132 and PPWC Local 2 at Crofton over the coming days to determine all details regarding the restart plan, including the official restart date in January.
The Crofton Mill has two paper machines and two pulp lines. The mill has the capacity to produce 320,000 tonnes per year of printing / packaging papers and 380,000 tpy of NBSK pulp.
Paper Excellence, headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, is a diversified manufacturer of pulp, printing and writing, packaging, and specialty paper that operates 7 facilities in Canada producing over 2.8 million tonnes annually.
SOURCE: Paper Excellence
Read a related article on on PaperAge's website: Paper Excellence Announces Indefinite Curtailment of Crofton Paper Mill Operations - Oct. 10, 2022.
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