On September 9th, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the approval of timber allocations to support the restart of the Paper Excellence pulp mill in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.
“One of the key goals of Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan is to increase forestry product sales and exports and create more forestry-related jobs in the province,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “The restart of the Paper Excellence pulp mill is expected to create over 1,650 direct and indirect jobs, while enhancing northern and Indigenous economic and labor development opportunities within our world-class forestry sector.”
“The reopening of the pulp mill in Prince Albert is welcome news for Saskatchewan’s sustainable forestry sector,” Environment Minister Warren Kaeding said. “The facility will play an important role in making the most effective use of Saskatchewan’s forest resources, including utilizing chips and other smaller pieces of wood from sawmill production.”
With the $550 million capital investment by Paper Excellence to refurbish and upgrade the facility, the mill capacity will be 350,000 tons of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp annually, requiring approximately 1,800,000 m3 of softwood fiber.
The Government of Saskatchewan is allocating the timber through the Ministry of Energy and Resources under The Forest Resources Management Act. The province is allocating the majority of the timber required for this project, while the remaining balance will be secured by the company through commercial agreements negotiated with other mills, Indigenous timber allocation holders and private landowners.
“This fiber is critical to the restart of the Prince Albert pulp mill which is currently planned for the fall of 2023,” said Carlo Dal Monte, Vice President of Energy and Business Development. “This decision reflects the Saskatchewan government’s forward thinking and robust job creation ambitions. They have been terrific to work with—taking a real interest in our project and the Prince Albert community.”
Paper Excellence’s Prince Albert team continues to bring better definition to the project in terms of facility equipment. “We remain dedicated to completing the facility’s pre-engineering and filing necessary provincial environmental approvals to achieve our targeted late 2023 restart date,” said Dal Monte. “As with many large projects, we are refining our understanding of the facility’s economics and the needed funding arrangements.”
According to the Government of Saskatchewan, in 2020, more than $1.1 billion worth of Saskatchewan forest products were sold, an almost 30 per cent increase over the previous year.