Port Alberni mill to receive $13 million upgrade; Powell River mill remains idle

Paper Excellence makes investment

While Powell River’s mill sits idle, Paper Excellence is investing in its Port Alberni paper mill.

According to a media release from Paper Excellence, the company announced it plans to invest more than $13 million at its Port Alberni paper mill. The release stated this decision reflects the company’s continued confidence in the strategy to invest in the forest sector of BC.

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The release stated that the Port Alberni mill has initiated diversifying into unique food-grade papers used by restaurants and food preparation enterprises. This release stated this project takes that winning approach to a new level by removing key production bottlenecks in the mill and will ultimately upgrade both of Port Alberni’s paper machines to make food grades at the same time.

“With help from the leadership of BC’s government, we are very excited to invest in a winning project like this at Port Alberni, a mill that supports over 300 jobs,” stated Patrick Corriveau, vice president of paper and packaging at Paper Excellence. “With the mill’s best-in-class papermakers and the ability to make even more of these new food grades, we’re confident in the Port Alberni mill’s secure and long term future.”

The release stated that detailed engineering for the project will start shortly, followed by procurement of needed equipment. Paper Excellence anticipates the Port Alberni upgrade being completed by the fourth quarter of 2021. The release also states that Paper Excellence’s Port Alberni paper mill uses more than 95 per cent renewable energy to make its paper products and has reduced its carbon footprint by 83 per cent since 1990.

The release stated that Paper Excellence, headquartered in BC, is a diversified manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing and writing, and packaging papers that operates eight facilities in Canada, producing more than three million tonnes annually, with a workforce of more than 3,000. Paper Excellence is poised to continue to grow with its strategy of operational excellence and high-quality, cost-effective products, according to the release.

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