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September 1, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

No deal for Mackenzie pulp mill restart

No deal for Mackenzie pulp mill restart

For a few days mid-September it looked like a Chinese corporation would buy the shuttered Mackenzie pulp mill in northern B.C., but an agent for the mill’s owners says the proposed deal is now dead. The Vancouver Sun reports that China’s United Petroleum Group was interested in the mill, but that “contingent liabilities” played a role in quashing the deal.

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One liability is the $6.5 million owed to the provincial government, which took over maintenance of the closed facility in January. Another is $3.7 million in back taxes owed to the town of Mackenzie.

Time is running out for the mill. The provincial environment ministry shut down the boiler over the summer and has taken steps to prepare for a cold shutdown. “Volatile chemicals that posed a risk if left unattended have now mostly been disposed of, and the province does not plan on restarting the boiler this winter, essentially allowing the once-profitable pulp mill to freeze,” explains the Vancouver Sun’s Gordon Hamilton in a story on Sept. 14.


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