By Cindy Macdonald
Phase two of the Irving Pulp & Paper mill modernization project in Saint John, N.B., is about 95 per cent complete, the company reported in mid-March. The new digester equipment and technology is on schedule for commissioning and start-up over the next few weeks.
The digester project is part of a $450-million modernization – the largest pulp mill investment in Canada since 1993. Engineering and some civil work has started on phase three of the modernization project, a $250-million pulp dryer project that is expected to provide an estimated 600,000 person hours of work over 30 months.
To date, parent company J.D. Irving has awarded more than $90 million in contracts to 166 New Brunswick companies since the beginning of the modernization in 2014.
Guildfords Insulation of Saint John is delivering on a $575,000 contract from Irving Pulp & Paper, Limited to supply and install insulation and stainless steel cladding for 30,000 square feet of Phase 2 piping and equipment. To date, the Guildford Insulation contract has generated over 10,500 person hours of work for local insulators and apprentices with support from supervisor and office staff positions.
“A project like this keeps local businesses going. It’s very important to have local contractors participating. It keeps our workers home – they don’t have to leave New Brunswick,” said Danny Burchill, site superintendent, Guildfords Insulation.
The current Phase 2 of the modernization has created about 450 direct and indirect construction jobs at the pulp mill site in Saint John.
According to JDI, the Irving Pulp and Paper mill generates more than $400 million in annual purchases and supports more than 1,700 suppliers across 250 communities in the province.