Mackenzie pulp mill manager resigns
April 6, 2009 By Pulp & Paper Canada
Having seen the shuttered Worthington pulp mill in Mackenzie, B.C., through the hazards of winter, mill manager Tom…
Having seen the shuttered Worthington pulp mill in Mackenzie, B.C., through the hazards of winter, mill manager Tom Boughner has announced his resignation, effective May 8, after ten years on the job.
Boughner has managed the mill through a succession of six different employers, and through the crisis this winter when the B.C. government stepped in as an emergency measure to keep the facility from freezing and potentially releasing harmful chemicals.
“By early May, the risk of winter freezing will be over. We will have done what we said
we would do, as far as ensuring the safety of our employees and the community and
protecting the environment from chemical spills is concerned,” says Boughner.
Despite the mill’s current predicament, Boughner believes it has a bright future. “Like the Cariboo and Taylor pulp mills, Mackenzie was built to serve the regional lumber mills by making a valuable product out of what used to be waste streams,” he comments. “When the lumber industry comes back in 2010, they will need an outlet for chips and sawdust. With a fine-tuned configuration that typically consumes 55% chips and 45% sawdust yet remains able to revert to processing 100% chip furnish, Mackenzie is beautifully suited to the fibre supply from the Mackenzie region.”
The B.C. government has been in control of the mill since January after the owner, Edmonton-based Worthington Industries, stopped paying the workers and tried to shut the mill cold.
In March, unionized workers at the Mackenzie facility signed an employment agreement with Mackenzie Pulp Mill Environmental Management Inc., a company created by the provincial government.
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