Nova Scotia

Mill gets $2.5M for upgrade from N.S. government

Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. is getting $2.5 million in funding from the Nova Scotia government to help it begin making book-grade paper.

Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. is getting $2.5 million in funding from the Nova Scotia government to help it begin making book-grade paper.

The funding will be used to help the mill in Brooklyn, N.S., near Liverpool, make modifications necessary to begin producing the paper. The book-grade paper market tends to have more stable demand and pricing.

Bowater Mersey, owned by Montreal-based AbitibiBowater, has about 500 full-time employees at its newsprint mill, sawmill and other operations.

The company is spending more than $7 million on the project, which includes new manufacturing processes, technology and equipment.

Economic and Rural Development is supporting the company's diversification plan through the Community Development Trust Fund.

"Bowater Mersey is managing through difficult economic times in this industry by finding innovative ways to reduce operating costs, improve productivity, and develop new product lines and markets," Minister of Economic and Rural Development Percy Paris said in a release.

"The fundamentals of this company are solid and, along with the company, its employees, suppliers, and customers and various governments, we want this mill to continue to be a viable part of our economy and return to higher employment levels as the economy rebounds in the coming months."

The paper, used mainly in paperback books, requires more demanding standards than those for newsprint.

Last Thursday, AbitibiBowater announced that it will cut production in half at the newsprint operation at the Brooklyn mill, and its 300 employees there will work reduced hours.

Besides the newsprint mill, Bowater Mersey also operates the Oakhill sawmill near Bridgewater, the Mersey Woodlands forest management group and the Brooklyn Power Corporation in Brooklyn, Queens Co.

With files from The Canadian Press

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