British Columbia

Dutch company reopens B.C. pulp mill

More than 220 people are getting their jobs back two years after a northern Interior B.C. pulp mill closed its doors.

More than 220 people are getting their jobs back two years after a northern Interior B.C. pulp mill closed its doors.

The Mackenzie Pulp Mill in Mackenzie, B.C., is officially reopening on Tuesday, welcoming employees with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Paper Excellence, a Netherlands-based company, says an estimated 500 spinoff jobs will also be created as the mill goes back into high gear.

Two hundred and forty workers were idled when the mill closed in the spring of 2008, just months after the bankruptcy of U.S. forest company Pope and Talbot.

Worthington Properties then bought the mill from Pope and Talbot, but in January 2009, the B.C. government stepped in to maintain the facility after the company failed to pay maintenance workers.

In Mackenzie, four mills have closed in recent years, leading to large job losses. Mayor Stephanie Killam said the new investment has created a renewed sense of pride in the community.

The mill, 180 kilometres north of Prince George, is Canada's most northerly softwood market kraft pulp mill and can produce up to 235,000 tonnes of pulp annually.