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Powell River paper mill to resume operations in May

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Powell River mayor Dave Formosa says the local paper mill is looking to restart its operations this spring.

At the March 4th council meeting, Formosa announced that the Catalyst Paper Mill will be starting up one paper machine.

“We’re looking for that to happen in May,” he said.

“They’re anticipating four-to-six week lead time, so certain workers will be called back to the operation to start getting the facility ready to fire up one machine.”

According to Formosa, they’ll be making a brand new product.

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“It’s a brown heavy paper that will line boxes. So it’s a box liner, which happens to have a good market,” he says. “So that’s good news.”

However, Formosa says they’re still hoping to power up a second machine once they get enough orders for the thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) operation.

“That is where they would take pulp from the TMP, and dry it on the paper machines into roles, and then sell it into Asia mostly,” he said.

“Generally, they don’t come in paper rolls, they come in little blocks. But there seems to be a market for this and I know the group at Catalyst is working very hard so that Powell River can start up another machine when they get enough orders.”

Formosa’s now thanking not only council and senior staff for the continued support they’ve shown the mill’s employees, but also Catalyst itself for “believing in Powell River.”

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