Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, 02 November 2010 -- With the assistance of a loan from the provincial government and promises of an appropriate wood supply, St. Marys Paper Corp. in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is gearing up to restart by early December. The groundwood mill has been closed since March.
"This is important news for St. Marys, and for the local economy," said Dennis Bunnell, chairman and CEO of St. Marys.
"Our market studies confirmed that St Marys Paper should continue producing supercalendered paper as its base product," Bunnell noted. "As a result of the provincial support we can now implement our plans to transform the business by joining the expanding forest bioeconomy business sector."
Using its forest biofiber supply, access, and experience as the base for transition, St. Marys is planning long term bioeconomy projects, including a 35 MW biomass cogeneration plant and a wood pellet plant. The company also will engage in nanotechnology product development partnerships and studies with the University of Toronto, and other bioeconomy projects with private sector partners and the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Center.
"We are in the right place at the right time, with solid experience to boot," said Bunnell.
The company will be calling back employees as soon as possible and will start up forestry operations to supply the mill immediately. Raw material supply and contracts will be finalized in November to have all necessary products and equipment in place. A meeting is being scheduled to share plans with all employees.
"The future of our mill is tied to the people in our local community and our industry. I want to personally thank our employees, contractors, suppliers, and customers for being patient as we took the time to develop a conservative, workable business plan. We look forward to renewing our relationships with all of the people and businesses that are so critical to St Marys' success."
St. Marys Paper has traditionally marketed its product to magazine publishers and advertisers who produce inserts, flyers, and catalogues. When full operations are possible, the company employs approximately 300 employees, and is directly and indirectly responsible for more than 2000 jobs in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding areas.