Idled Northern Pulp mill in Nova Scotia seeking protection from creditors

Northern Pulp Mill

An idled Nova Scotia pulp mill says it has received an ``initial order'' giving it protection from its creditors as it attempts to restructure its finances and affairs.
    
Paper Excellence Canada said on Friday that its subsidiary Northern Pulp has filed under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in order to preserve the value of its assets and to provide needed time to explore alternatives for restarting the mill.
    
The pulp mill, which had been operational since 1967, stopped production on Jan. 31 after the province rejected its request to continue pumping treated effluent into a nearby treatment lagoon in Boat Harbour, N.S., near the Pictou Landing First Nation.
    
Northern Pulp has kept the mill in hibernation, which it says will allow it to reopen in the event a proposed new effluent treatment facility receives the necessary environmental approvals.
    
However, last week the company filed an appeal with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court related to a ministerial order issued for the management of the site.
    
Paper Excellence had said the order imposed terms and conditions that are "impractical'' and show a "lack of understanding of the pulp and paper industry and effluent treatment facilities.''

(With files from Michael Tutton of The Canadian Press)