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Two B.C. paper mills face longer closures because of COVID 19 pandemic

The Canadian Press   

Industry

RICHMOND, B.C. – The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest calamity to hit a British Columbia-based pulp and specialty printing company, forcing it to extend shutdowns at two B.C. mills until at least mid-summer.

Paper Excellence says it has faced “an exceptional intersection of events” over the last six months, including a shortage of wood needed for paper production and a malware attack that continues to affect its operations.

A lack of wood forced the company, which operates nine facilities in Canada and France, to begin a 30-day curtailment at its Crofton and Powell River mills on March 1.

In a statement Paper Excellence says those curtailments will continue because repercussions from COVID-19 have “materially impacted the supply chain.”

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It says its Port Alberni mill will continue to supply paper to its core base of customers while production will be intermittent at the Crofton operation “as opportunities permit.”

But the company warns that addressing challenges due to COVID-19 and ensuring health and safety protocols for staff means its plans are “highly fluid” and could be modified at any time.

 

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