Paper Excellence Canada announced last week the curtailment of operations at its pulp mill in Mackenzie, British Columbia targeting the final week of June 2020. The mill produces northern bleached softwood kraft pulp.
Paper Excellence says it has substantially invested to improve mill operations since acquiring the Mackenzie facility in 2010. Despite best efforts by the company and its team of employees in Mackenzie, the COVID-19 global pandemic is having negative impacts on pulp markets creating conditions that no longer support the on-going operation of the mill. Furthermore, the deep fibre shortage in British Columbia and the Mackenzie region have affected the mill’s competitiveness. This shortage was exacerbated by recent curtailment of sawmills in the Mackenzie region dramatically reducing economic fibre availability.
Paper Excellence’s priority is to support the 253 employees affected by this curtailment. Where possible, it is hoped some offers of secondment can be made to some of its other facilities across Canada. Meanwhile, the terms of the collective agreement with the local trade unions will be respected through the process.
During the curtailment, Paper Excellence wants to ensure the safety of the mill facility and protection of the community and the receiving environment. A small team of employees will provide around the clock security and monitoring.
Paper Excellence will continue to supply pulp and paper customers with production from its other operating mills in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.