Paper Excellence closes another Canadian mill

Photo: Espanola’s Domtar Mill is on full idle. It is not the only mill to be shut down by its owner, Paper Excellence. The company has just shut down the pulp segment of one of its mills on Vancouver Island. The paper side of the mill continues to operate. File Photo of Domtar Mill Spring 2023 by Rosalind Russell

By Rosalind Russell – A pulp and paper mill on Vancouver Island is shuttering its paper operations indefinitely, and laying off dozens of employees after years of production pauses and temporary restarts.

Paper Excellence Canada announced the closure of the paper production facility at its Catalyst mill in Crofton, B.C., stating in a release that operating costs were too high due to inflationary pressures on raw materials, energy costs and a lack of domestic fibre supply.

“These pressures have materially impacted the current and future financial viability of the paper operation,” the mill owner stated, adding that approximately 75 employees will be let go as a result of the move.

The mill’s pulp operations will continue production, with the pulp arm’s 400 employees unaffected by the paper curtailment.

The company said the Crofton mill operators will now focus on making the remaining pulp facility “cost competitive” and aligned with the company’s business strategy.

The closure was announced at the end of January.

Paper Excellence closed another Catalyst Paper tiskwat, a paper mill in Powell River, B.C. affecting some 200 workers last August and has idled the Domtar pulp and paper mill in Espanola, affecting over 400 jobs there.

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