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Catalyst Powell River paper mill to resume operations in May
CANADA (From news reports) -- Powell River's paper mill is scheduled to resume production in May, according to mayor Dave Formosa.

Speaking at the city council meeting on March 4, Formosa said he wanted to announce that the Catalyst Paper Corporation mill in Powell River will be starting up one paper machine.

"We're looking for that to happen in May," said Formosa. "They are anticipating four- to six-week lead time so certain workers will be called back to the operation to start getting the facility ready to fire up one machine.

"They will be making a new product that has not been made here before. It's a brown, heavy paper that will line boxes, so it's a box liner, which happens to have a good market. That's good news."

Formosa said the mill is hoping to start up a second machine once it gets enough orders for the thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) operation. He said that is where the mill would take pulp from the TMP operation, dry it on the paper machines onto rolls, and then sell it into Asia as a raw material.

"Generally, it doesn't come in paper rolls, they come in little blocks, but there seems to be a market for this and I know the group at Catalyst is working very hard so Powell River can start up another machine when they get enough orders to get out there and make that happen."

Formosa said he has been talking with Patrick Corriveau, vice-president of paper and packaging with Catalyst, which is wholly owned by Paper Excellence.

Formosa said he wanted to thank city council for its ongoing support of the mill. He also thanked Catalyst for believing in Powell River and working hard for the company to start up its third mill. The mills in Port Alberni and Crofton are currently operating.

The corporate communications department at Paper Excellence has been contacted regarding the mill reopening and vice-president of corporate communications Graham Kissack has indicated a media release is being drafted.

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