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Prince Albert mill delays start-up, may produce paper pulp (updated)


April 1, 2013
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The Prince Albert Pulp Mill is producing green power, but start-up of pulp production is still 12 to 18 months away, a representative recently told a local gathering.

The Prince Albert Pulp Mill is producing green power, but start-up of pulp production is still 12 to 18 months away, a representative recently told a local gathering.

Dale Paterson, vice-president of operations for Paper Excellence, which owns the Prince Albert mill, provided an update on the mill’s status at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

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Based on that presentation, the Prince Albert Daily Herald reported Mar. 29 that Paper Excellence is investing in a technology that is less costly and will allow the refurbished mill to produce both traditional paper pulp and dissolving pulp.

The capital expenditure on this new technology is expected to be between $85 and $90 million less than the company previously anticipated, Paterson said.

When Paper Excellence purchased the operation in 2011, the plan was to produce dissolving pulp at the site by the fall of 2013. Now, with dissolving pulp prices considerably lower than at that time, the company is exploring the production of market pulp.

According to the Daily Herald, the mill faced a higher level of equipment failure than expected, and Paper Excellence will spend an additional $75 million to deal with issues arising from the mill’s five-year shutdown.

In the meantime, the mill’s green power plant is currently exporting about 9.5 MWH to SaskPower, and employs 24 people. 

In total, the mill is currently employing 113 people and spending about $1.8 million per month between personnel and materials, the majority of which goes directly back into the local economy, reports the Daily Herald.


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