A soon-to-be re-opened pulp mill in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan has begun generating power through its on-site cogeneration facility.
The power will be used to run the mill once it’s up and running, and is already contributing to the SaskPower provincial grid.
“According to Prince Albert mayor Jim Scarrow, the plant is producing power from the mill’s bio-mass boiler and power turbine and the company is now selling back that power,” CTV reported.
The Prince Albert pulp mill closed in 2006 in the wake of volatile market conditions for pulp and paper. In March of this year, Paper Excellence announced its intentions to purchase the shuttered property and spend $200 million to convert the mill to a dissolving pulp facility.
Dissolving pulp is a specialty pulp product predominately used in the textile industry to create fibers such as rayon.
Re-opening the mill with a new vision will help “with the creation of hundreds of full-time manufacturing jobs and thousands of hours of construction jobs,” said Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Western regional vice-president Jim Britton.
According to CTV, about 45 employees were hired to operate the power generation plant.
At it’s height, the mill complex employed 700 people directly, with hundreds more working in forestry spin-off jobs.
The mill is expected to be ready to produce dissolving pulp in the third quarter of 2013.