Site for Atikokan sawmill acquired
June 22, 2013 – Resolute Forest Products confirmed the acquisition of a site to build a new random length sawmill in the Atikokan area of Ontario.
The $50 million project will create roughly 90 direct jobs at the sawmill, as well as secure or create additional in-direct positions related to harvesting and hauling activities.
The site is located in Sapawe, 30 km from Atikokan, and was chosen in part due to its favourable access to raw materials, as well as rail and road transportation. The planning work for the project is largely completed, and the bid process for the civil and mechanical portions is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
Resolute president and CEO, Richard Garneau said the project is part of an overall capital program in Ontario, started in early 2011 and totals more than $190 million.
“This is the type of development the north needs – modern mills of good scale that create jobs and boost the regional economy while using a sustainably-managed and renewable resource,” said Michael Gravelle, Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP, who also is minister of northern development and mines.
The Atikokan sawmill is expected to begin production by the end of the second quarter of 2014.
With its existing sawmill in Thunder Bay, Ont., and following the launch of the new Atikokan sawmill and the company’s upgraded Ignace facility, Resolute will have three of the most modern sawmills in Eastern Canada.
Their combined production capacity of more than 560 million board feet will make Resolute the largest lumber producer in Ontario.
The sawmills also will contribute to the long-term competitiveness of the company’s pulp and paper operations in Thunder Bay through the supply of residual chips, as well as support efforts to reposition the currently indefinitely idled pulp mill in Fort Frances.