Sask. approves timber allocations for Prince Albert pulp mill restart

The provincial government has approved timber allocations for the Prince Albert pulp mill, which is set to reopen in 2023.

The mill, owned by Paper Excellence, is expected to create over 1,650 direct and indirect jobs. According to Paper Excellence, the mill will directly employ about 200 people.

The mill will be able to produce 350,000 tonnes of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp per year, requiring about 1,800,000 cubic metres of softwood fibre.

“This fibre is critical to the restart of the Prince Albert pulp mill, which is currently planned for the fall of 2023,” said Carlo Dal Monte, vice-president of energy and business development with Paper Excellence.

"The facility will play an important role in making the most effective use of Saskatchewan's forest resources, including utilizing chips and other smaller pieces of wood from sawmill production,” said Environment Minister Warren Kaeding in a news release.

Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said in addition to creating so many jobs, the mill’s restart will enhance “northern and Indigenous economic and labour development opportunities within our world-class forestry sector.”

The province said it’s allocating most of the timber required. The rest will be secured through agreements with other mills, Indigenous timber allocation holders and private landowners.

The previous owner of the Prince Albert pulp mill shut it down in 2006.

On Wednesday, the province announced it approved timber allocations for a separate, new OSB plant owned by One Sky Forest Products. That site is expected to create about 700 jobs.