$110M loan secures mill's future, union and company say
The mood outside the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill was upbeat at the announcement of a $110-million dollar loan Thursday — a stark contrast from two years ago when 50 employees were laid off.
The company, union, and provincial government officials all applauded the details of the deal, which includes about $85 million to pay off the mill's debts.
The other $25 million will be spent on upgrading the mill and Deer Lake Power's plant.
Daniel Archambault, vice-president of Kruger Inc., the mill's parent company, said this loan will make a real difference to the future of the mill.
"That loan and the capital investment that we will be able to make ... will help us to continue to improve our cost structure and be competitive on the world market," said Archambault.
Union official Gary Healey, who has represented workers through layoffs and cuts at the mill over the past few years, was relieved.
"It's a new beginning," he said.
"It's a chance for everybody to turn the corner and it’s going to be tremendous for the workers and the community, and it shows when people work together great things can happen."
Healey thinks the investment will allow the mill to survive for some time.
"It’s a long time coming and I know it’s been for you as well and I can't tell you how happy I am to be here," said Marshall, who represents the Corner Brook district of Humber East.
Kruger does not have to start paying back the loan until 2019.