Paper Excellence to reopen Crofton mill with provincial, federal funding
January 20, 2023 By Jennifer Ellson
More than 100 jobs will resume at Paper Excellence’s Catalyst facility in Crofton, B.C., resulting from a partnership and funding from the provincial and federal governments, as the mill retools to manufacture new pulp products that reduce the need for single-use plastics.
“Our investment is the result of governments and business collaborating to innovate and create new, sustainable opportunities in forestry,” said B.C. Premier David Eby. “By working together we can find solutions to the pressing challenges faced by many forestry workers and communities.”
The Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada are contributing a combined $18.8 million to join with Paper Excellence’s investment that will result in more than 100 people getting back to work at Crofton’s paper line.
“Creating cleaner, more efficient forest operations is setting the foundation for future opportunity. We have the most skilled and experienced workers and a growing reputation for innovative technologies in our province. We are investing in both of those strengths and bringing people back to work at Crofton’s paper line,” Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston said.
“This is good news for workers, their families and the people of Crofton,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “We understand there is more work to be done to support people and families in forestry-dependent and rural communities. We’ll continue to roll up our sleeves, work with industry, workers and communities and get the job done.”
This funding supports a clean, innovative economy, while supporting jobs for people in the resource sector. It will aid in the production of water-resistant paper packaging to replace single-use plastics, increase the competitiveness of the Crofton mill, reduce waste from production, use fewer trees for the same volume of product, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Canada’s forestry sector provides economic opportunities and good jobs in communities right across the country,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, federal Minister of Natural Resources. “By supporting the development of innovative forest products and investing in projects, such as the ones announced today, the federal government is helping to reduce emissions, eliminate harmful waste, build up strong local economies, and support good, sustainable, jobs.”
Earlier this week, the B.C. government announced up to $90 million in funding for the B.C. Manufacturing Jobs Fund that will provide funding to forestry companies that require equipment to support new product lines, such as mass timber production or paper packaging, or smaller-diameter tree processing and manufacturing or a company that wants to build or expand a plastics-alternative manufacturing facility in a rural community.
As well, with an investment of $50 million from the province, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) will expand funding for projects and programs that increase the use of low-value or residual fibre, including trees damaged by recent wildfires and waste left over from logging that would otherwise be burned in slash piles.
In October, Paper Excellence announced that paper operations at its Catalyst Crofton facility will be indefinitely curtailed from early December 2022.
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