Paper Excellence Canada is announcing that paper machine three is coming back online at the Crofton Mill in January.

VP of Environment, Health and Safety, and Corporate Communications Graham Kissack said the machine manufactures mechanical papers that are distributed throughout North America.

Fifty-eight union members (Unifor, Public and Private Workers of Canada members) are returning to work and Kissack said production has come a long way since the start of the pandemic.

“The world shutdown from the paper advertising and newspaper readership perspective, we literally saw demand fall to pretty much zero,” said Kissack. “Since that time, our paper team and our able-bodied, very capable paper makers have been busy finding new customers and developing new grades.”

Kissack said, paper machine three was curtailed in the spring following a malware attack, a forest fibre shortage, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the malware attack and then the COVID-19 crisis started in March, we had to curtail all of our paper machines and since that time we’ve been able to restart three throughout the company,” said Kissack. “This represents the fourth paper machine coming back on.”

According to a news release, with the 58 workers set to return, a total of 560 employees will be working at the local mill. The mill is not only a local driver of the economy, it injects $3 million dollars into the provincial economy daily.

“We’re very excited to return to full production at Crofton.” said Patrick Corriveau, VP of Paper and Packaging at Paper Excellence. “We’re one of only a few companies that’s actually resuming paper production so it’s a testament to the hard work of our salespeople and the quality of our products and papermakers.” Paper Excellence continues to work on production of the new food and packaging papers while remaining committed to its traditional printing and writing grade customers.

With machine three firing back up, that means four of the six machines are going to be back online. 

Two machines are still down in Powell River.