Paper Excellence extends closures at 2 Island paper mills due to COVID-19

Paper Excellence extends closures at 2 Island paper mills due to COVID-19
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Pulp and paper mills in Crofton and Powell River will cease most production to due COVID-19

Paper Excellence is extending shutdowns at its Crofton and Powell River pulp and paper mills until at least mid-summer.

The B.C.-based company operates nine mills in Canada and France and says the curtailment of services in Crofton and Powell River is due to a list of unfortunate events in the past six months that top off with COVID-19.

The company has seen a lack of wood supply from BC’s coast, and business operations were down after a malware attack that Paper Excellence is still working to recover from.

The Crofton and Powell River mills began a 30-day curtailment starting on March 1, but now the cut in production is expected to last until at least the mid-summer due to lack of demand, as COVID-19 impacted the supply chain for many of the product the mill produces.

Paper Excellence says will continue to service its core customer base from the Port Alberni, along with occasional manufacturing runs at the Crofton facility “as opportunities permit.”

“The entire situation is expected to continue to be highly fluid and the timeline may be modified in the coming months,” said Paper Excellence in a statement.

A different pulp mill in Nanaimo has seen the opposite effect due to COVID-19. The Harmac Pulp Mill has doubled its production of pulp to help make materials necessary for medical supplies, such as face masks and gowns amid the pandemic.

Paper Excellence is hoping all levels of government will be able to help maintain businesses during the COVID-19 crisis and bring much-needed relief to the industry.

Paper Excellence, headquartered in British Columbia, produces more than 3.6 million tonnes of pulp and printing, writing, and packaging papers every year. It employs more than 3,500 workers and says it is ready to continue to grow with its strategy of operational excellence and high-quality, cost-effective products.


Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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