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Prince Albert progress report


October 16, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Prince Albert, SK — The Premier’s Task Force on Forest Development marked its second anniversary with a progress r…

Prince Albert, SK — The Premier’s Task Force on Forest Development marked its second anniversary with a progress report on the reopening of the Prince Albert pulp mill. Last year at this time, the Task Force released a report confirming that the reopening of that mill was necessary to drive a value added sector and revitalize the forestry industry in Saskatchewan.

Milestones in the past year include Domtar taking over Weyerhaeuser’s Prince Albert location, and signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the province that would reopen the Prince Albert pulp mill and the Wapawekka sawmill. Notable in the agreement is that the province will provide $15 million to purchase 10% of the pulp mill, making this equity available for First Nations to purchase for a period of two years. The province will also purchase 36% of the Wapawekka sawmill for $26.5 million, and an additional 15% within two years of the reopening. Total investment from the Province, including these and other terms of the agreement, could be up to $32.5 million in matching grants and $67.2 in equity.

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Task Force member Dennis Balon noted, “The value that reopening the Prince Albert pulp mill (the lynchpin of the industry) and the Wapawekka sawmill means to revitalizing the forest industry can not be understated. This will put over 1400 people back to work at the mills, in the forest and in the supply and service sector throughout Saskatchewan. Over 1% will be added to the provinces GDP.”

The cost of environmental clean up at the site will be split 72.5% by the province and 27.5% by Domtar, consistent with the 1986 sale of the facility to Weyerhaeuser. The Phase I engineering study is complete, with no major problems being identified. Phase II has started, and will address reconfiguration of the facility for northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp. Saskatchewan laws firms are being engaged to draft the legal agreements.


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