City of Powell River has responded to news that Paper Excellence is indefinitely curtailing production at its Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill.
“Our thoughts are with the employees and their families who have been impacted by this move,” stated mayor David Formosa in a media release. “I can’t imagine what a blow this is to them, especially heading into the holiday season.
"The city is already working with Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, the provincial government and other agencies to support them through this difficult time.”
Formosa stated that city has done everything within its power to keep the mill viable for more than a decade, including providing property tax relief, working with the company to secure funding to improve operations, and finding new owners that would take the operation in different directions.
He added that there are opportunities to redevelop the site.
“Paper Excellence, the BC Government, and Renewable Hydrogen Canada have been in extensive discussions to transition the mill into a significant hydrogen and clean fuel production facility,” stated Formosa. “As I’ve said for many years, the site has excellent infrastructure to support new industry.”
Formosa added that there are no guarantees that the development will come to fruition, but the city will continue to work closely with the premier's office, Simons and Paper Excellence to ensure all opportunities are explored. He also stated that other parties have expressed an interest in the mill site.