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Paper Excellence to close Mackenzie Pulp mill permanently

After being curtailed for close to a year, the Mackenzie Pulp Mill will close its doors for good.

Paper Excellence made the announcement today (Thursday), after the mill was originally curtailed in June 2020 due to market impacts caused by COVID-19.

The company cites the facility’s small production capacity and the ongoing lack of economic fibre as reasons for the closure.

“Since acquiring the Mackenzie mill in 2010, Paper Excellence has invested more than $360 million in the facility. However, despite these investments and the committed team of employees in Mackenzie, the facility’s small production capacity and the ongoing lack of local economic fibre meant the mill could not be globally competitive,” said the company in a statement

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Mackenzie employees have been relocated to other facilities across Canada where possible.

The terms of the collective agreement with UNIFOR Local 1092 will be respected and severance payments made, the statement adds.

Gaseous, liquid and solid chemicals, as well as residues, have been safely removed from the Mackenzie mill site.

Currently, a small team of employees is monitoring the facility while the company decides how to repurpose the facility in the future.

Meanwhile, Paper Excellence is restarting one of the paper machines in its Powell River mill in early May.

It plans to invest with and establish ‘jointly beneficial’ partnerships with First Nations, and making a $13 million capital investment in the Port Alberni facility.

The company says it is also working towards making capital investments in its Crofton facility, and restarting its facility in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

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