Saskatchewan government moves to assign Prince Albert forest management agreement
April 1, 2009 By Pulp & Paper Canada
Saskatchewan’s Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd has announced that the Ministries of Energy and Resources an…
Saskatchewan’s Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd has announced that the Ministries of Energy and Resources and Environment have a formal process with Domtar and Weyerhaeuser to work toward the new assignment of the FMA. The new FMA holder is expected to be an entity comprising interested forest products companies and First Nations.
“By summer, our working group intends to lay the foundation for assignment of the FMA to serve the needs of multiple companies,” Boyd says. “We are confident that a partnership of private sector and community interests is the best approach to determine the future management of the FMA and that, through it, we’ll see additional investment in our forest sector.”
Discussions are now underway with a working group of industry, government, and First Nation interests in the region to determine how the assignment will proceed.
The government is also continuing discussions with Domtar on the future of the Prince Albert pulp mill and associated assets. In support of this, the government will set aside, for three years, a wood supply for the pulp mill to maintain its viability.
“We remain optimistic that redevelopment at the mill site can be achieved, and we continue to work with Domtar toward that objective,” Boyd said. “We also want to encourage opportunity for other forest businesses by providing access to sustainable wood supplies from the FMA.”
A number of Saskatchewan-based forest businesses and area First Nations have requested fibre allocations from the FMA to support existing operations and allow for growth and expansion into new higher-value forest products and renewable energy. Boyd said the newly assigned FMA and associated fibre allocation will enable many of those business opportunities to be realized while maintaining existing allocations from the FMA to other parties.
“This is very positive news for our province’s forest industry,” Council of Saskatchewan Forest Industries executive director David Harman says. “We need to move forward on new development opportunities as an industry, and this move by the government and two major forest operators is an important step in that process.”
The Prince Albert pulp mill and associated facilities are owned by Domtar and have not operated since April 2006. The Prince Albert FMA is currently managed by Domtar and held in the name of Weyerhaeuser.
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