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Paper Excellence receives $4.5 million from federal funding program for its transformative project

June 9, 2022  By Sukanya Ray Ghosh

Paper Excellence is investing the $4.5 million funding from IFIT at Catalyst Port Alberni to expand the mill’s production capacity for food packaging papers. (Photo: Paper Excellence)

Paper Excellence received $4.5 million from the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. The company will direct the funds towards an important transformation project at its Catalyst Port Alberni mill.

Paper Excellence will invest the $4.5 million to expand production capacity at Catalyst Port Alberni for food packaging papers. The company is transitioning the mill to produce food grade papers to meet growing market demand. It will also help in offering sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic serving containers and advancing B.C.’s circular economy. Traditionally, the mill produced printing and writing grade papers, the demand for which has been steadily declining.

“This funding from IFIT will help Paper Excellence achieve our vision for modernizing our paper production on B.C.’s coast,” said Graham Kissack, vice-president of environment, health and safety and corporate communications. “We are proud to be producing sustainable, value-added forest products that will meet the market demands of the future.”


Catalyst Port Alberni will produce the new paper grades using unique pulping capabilities it has developed that net a higher yield in fibre use, according to the company. Consequently, the mill will be able to increase the amount of food packaging materials it produces using less residual wood fibre to do so.

“Finding alternatives to traditional, unsustainable packaging in every sector is an import part of our efforts to cut waste, reduce pollution, and protect natural habitats. The federal government is committed to growing the circular economy – we have already banned many harmful single use plastics – and are pleased to see the Catalyst Port Alberni mill transition to producing food grade paper that will serve to further displace single use materials. Congratulations to Catalyst Port Alberni and Paper Excellence on this exciting step towards a more sustainable future,” said the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.

IFIT, a federal program, provides capital funding to support transformative projects by forest sector firms to diversify into new product streams and implement innovative process improvements to ensure industry competitiveness.

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