Howe Sound closes paper line, maintains pulp, power
By Cindy Macdonald/Pulp & Paper Canada
July 29, 2015 - Paper Excellence has shut down the newsprint operations at Howe Sound Pulp & Paper, blaming deteriorating market conditions and drought conditions in southern British Columbia. The mill is located in Port Mellon, B.C. It will continue to produce kraft pulp and electrical power for sale to the B.C. grid.
Paper Excellence says that the timing of the closure is related to the dwindling supply of water in Lake Seven, which feeds the mill's paper, pulp and power operations. By closing the paper manufacturing lines, the company hopes to stretch the water supply for pulp and power operations, and avoid temporary closures of those sections of the mill.
The shutdown is expected to result in the loss of about 130 jobs.
“The announcement was a shock to us all," said Unifor Local 1119 president Don Rheaume. “We're very disappointed and will work hard to help our members who are displaced by the closure."
“The management has indicated that there are many options on the table, and we're going to explore all of them," said Rheaume.
The Howe Sound mill has operated in Port Mellon for more than 100 years.