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Ontario offers GreenFirst $17.2M loan to relocate Kenora sawmill


April 25, 2022
By GreenFirst Forest Products

GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. is pleased to announce that the Government of Ontario has announced that it is prepared to offer a loan of up to $17.2M to support the company’s plan to relocate and redevelop the Kenora sawmill over the next 3.5 years. Completion of the loan facility is subject to due diligence and negotiation of binding agreements.

If completed, the company would be able to draw down on the loan facility to cover 20 per cent of its eligible project expenditures provided that the company meets certain performance parameters including but not limited to job-creation targets and other project milestones.

This strategic relocation would open the necessary expansion opportunities to ensure the mill is viable and sustainable. The company has identified potential locations for a new mill site within the City of Kenora. In doing so, the company would keep jobs in Kenora and could encourage full-time residents to move back to Kenora. All production from the relocated Kenora sawmill is expected to supply the Canadian market as well as the export market in the United Kingdom.

The company purchased the sawmill out of receivership on October 5, 2020. GreenFirst owns the facility and associated assets, which include 114 acres of land on the shores of the Lake of the Woods. The present site has limitations for sawmill development, and it is beneficial for the company to relocate.

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“Kenora is one of the most picturesque towns in Northern Ontario. We thank Minister Rickford and the Ontario government for their offer of support to relocate the mill,” said Paul Rivett, chairman of GreenFirst Forest Products. “The land value as a well-planned development far exceeds its value as a sawmill site. We believe the relocation of the mill will unlock the land for redevelopment that would become a source of pride for the community.”

“The future of the forest sector depends on building success through local projects with big impacts,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “By offering to invest in GreenFirst Forest Products, we’re creating local jobs and investing in prosperity in Kenora – ensuring a strong and prosperous forest sector which can provide for communities across Northern Ontario.”