Paper Excellence to restart operations at Crofton and recall over 100 workers with government assistance

Paper Excellence has announced that it will invest nearly $50 million to upgrade its paper mill in Crofton, British Columbia to help reduce its carbon footprint. The investment will also see the restart of its C2 paper machine, putting over 100 employees back to making paper at the site. Paper operations were recently curtailed due to weakening Chinese paper markets and escalating input costs. More than 100 jobs will resume, resulting from a partnership and funding from the provincial and federal governments, as the mill retools to manufacture new pulp products that reduce the need for single-use plastics.

Stew Gibson

“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 the 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 this possible” he added.

The C2 paper machine will be transformed to produce stronger, water-resistant paper grades which replace single-use plastics, while the investment will also reduce natural gas consumption through more efficient use of waste bark fuel in the mill’s boiler. The result will be a simultaneous improvement in Crofton’s competitiveness, while reducing 26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually equal to the output about 5,600 automobiles.

Overall, the $50 million investment diversifies markets, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and makes more efficient use of forest fibre. “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,” said Gibson. “These contributions are absolutely essential to restarting the paper operations and securing these rural jobs at the site.” Paper Excellence will be working alongside Unifor Local 1132 and PPWC Local 2 at Crofton to determine all details regarding the restart plan, including the official restart date. During this time, the C3 paper machine at Crofton will remain out of service indefinitely.

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