By Cindy Macdonald
Prior to beginning its annual maintenance shutdown on Sept. 10, Northern Pulp Nova Scotia announced that the budget for the shutdown had been increased from $8 million to more than $10 million.
“The annual maintenance shutdown is key to ensuring a safe and reliable operation in the year to come. Not many companies have the opportunity to spend a million dollars a day for 10 straight days,” states Northern Pulp general manager Bruce Chapman.
The shutdown will see the mill’s workforce jump from just over 330 to nearly 1,000 workers with tradespeople descending on Pictou County, N.S. Much of the increased budget will go toward covering wages.
While the shutdown itself will occur over a 10-day period, extra crews had already been on site for the past four weeks and many will remain a week after the mill resumes production on September 20.
While most contractors, tradespeople and technical experts come from Nova Scotia, some will be travelling from Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
Chapman says it becomes very busy around the mill and the entire community as local hotels, restaurants and retailers welcome hundreds of tradespeople during their time here. “I’m not sure which will be more challenging – finding a parking space in our lot or a hotel room.”
To handle the cars that accompany an extra 450 plus people at the Abercrombie Mill site, Northern Pulp has opened up a parking lot at the west end of the mill and hired a bus to transport workers from the parking lot to their work stations.
Northern Pulp is a kraft pulp mill owned by Paper Excellence. The mill has a capacity of 280,000 tonnes of pulp per year.