Paper machines facing two-week curtailment at Powell River mill

Shut down due to weak orders and tight fibre supply

Paper Excellence Canada has announced a shutdown of its two paper machines in Powell River for a two-week period.

Graham Kissack, vice president of environment, health, safety and communications with Paper Excellence, said paper machines 10 and 11 will be curtailed from April 19 to May 2. Paper Excellence will continue to operate the boiler and energy island and will continue to supply power to the electricity grid in British Columbia during the curtailment.

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“The curtailment itself is a result of weak orders due to the very soft North American paper markets for printing and writing papers, but also due to the ongoing, very, very tight BC raw fibre market,” said Kissack. “We get wood chips from the central or southern Interior, or the Okanagan. That supply is tight for us.”

Kissack said it’s expected that the paper machines will be back up on May 2.

“This isn’t of course the first curtailment we’ve had,” said Kissack. “It has certainly been part of the business over the past few years. It’s challenging for us. We are actively working, though, to grow new customer areas away from printing and writing papers, actually towards packaging and food grade. We think that will help us in the longer term."

“We are also continuing to bolster up our fibre supply, to search out more cost competitive fibre sources around British Columbia.”

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