A Pictou County, N.S. sawmill that closed last year could be back in business this fall, employing at least 70 people.
Owners of the Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Pulp Mill in Abercrombie Point are hoping that acquiring the Ligni Bel sawmill will help to ensure a steady supply of woodchips, as the Northern Pulp mill requires a steady supply of woodchips in order to make its bleached kraft pulp.
The Ligni Bel sawmill in nearby Scotsburn used to supply Northern Pulp with woodchips, but it shut down last November when over half of its wood supply was lost due to the closure of the NewPage paper mill in Point Tupper, N.S.
Now, an affiliate of Northern Pulp has started the process to purchase the Ligni Bel sawmill.
“Our plan is to, through a process, secure the assets of the Ligni Bel, and following the securement of the assets, we intend to start the sawmill up, creating probably seventy or so jobs in the Scotsburn area,” says Bob Bagdon of Northern Resources,
News of the impending sale and the possibility of new jobs brightened the day of many Scotsburn residents.
“I’m hoping that it’s going to get started up again. The community needs it,” says store clerk Joan Rankin. “We rely on a lot of the workers that are up there. The workers are relying on the mill.”
“That’s good news for Scotsburn,” says area resident Janet Fraser. “Yes, we’ll be glad to see the guys getting back to work and getting production going again.”
“Well I think that would be a wonderful thing for the area. I’m in hopes that it would continue to operate,” says area resident Rick Burns. “The area here really needs something.”
Officials with Northern Pulp say securing the Scotsburn mill will help them to reach company objectives.
“Our interest, of course, is that the sawmill industry is critical to the operation here, both in terms of efficiency and our longer term objectives and strategies of creating high value products with Nova Scotian resources,” says Bagdon.
He also says the acquisition still requires court approval, but Northern Resources is hoping to have the Scotsburn mill up and running in the fall.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh