The owners of a Port Alberni paper mill say a major new investment in the facility reflects confidence in British Columbia’s forestry sector. Paper Excellence says it will spend $13 million to upgrade the mid-Island mill as it prepares to produce food-grade papers used by restaurants and food preparation companies. The company says the investment will remove production bottlenecks and upgrade a pair of paper machines at the facility. "With help from the leadership of B.C.’s government, we are very excited to invest in a winning project like this at Port Alberni," said Patrick Corriveau with Paper Excellence. "With the mill’s best-in-class papermakers and the ability to make even more of these new food grades, we’re confident in the Port Alberni mill’s secure and long-term future."
Paper Excellence today warned that its customers may see pulp and paper delivery delays due to ongoing supply chain disruption in North America and particularly British Columbia.
Over the past three months, global supply chains, ports and carriers have been impacted by disruptions related to the pandemic such as labour availability, lack of shipping containers, delayed carriers and significant port congestion. These backlogs have impacted the company’s ability to get finished products shipped in a timely manner.
The atmospheric river weather system that hit British Columbia on Sunday, November 14 was a significant event that caused widespread damage. Although none of Paper Excellence’s facilities were directly impacted, there has been material damage to British Columbia’s infrastructure; particularly its roadways and railways. Closure of the TransCanada Highway, Highway 3 and Highway 5 in addition to the closure of the CP and CN rail lines has further impacted outbound product shipments as the company relies on both truck and rail transportation to move goods.
The company also anticipates potential production interruptions over the next four weeks related to forest fibre and other goods shortages received at its British Columbian mills. The situation will be monitored closely in our decision to restart the Crofton facility from its current two week production curtailment.
Paper Excellence remains committed to getting as much product as quickly as possible to its customers and asks for understanding at this time as British Columbia works to rebuild its transportation infrastructure and continues to navigate the impacts of the pandemic. Customers are asked to contact their Paper Excellence sales representatives if they have additional questions about this situation.