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The Miramichi region of New Brunswick was hit hard when the forestry sector collapsed. For a time last year, there wasn’t a single mill left operating on the Miramichi.

Here is the current state of the Miramichi mills:

UPM-Kymmene mill

This was Miramichi’s biggest mill operation. UPM-Kymmene closed the operation in 2007, and tore down the Miramichi kraft mill. 400 people lost their jobs.

Umoe Solar, a Norwegian company, purchased the mill in early 2009, and planned to build a polysilicon plant on the Newcastle site, putting at least 300 people back to work.

All the mill buildings have been torn down, and the metal has been removed from scrap.

But a year ago, Umoe Solar pulled the plug on the project, citing global market conditions as the reason.

Miramichi Lumber Products

Formerly known as Newcastle Lumber, the Miramichi Lumber Products mill is the oldest sawmill on the Miramichi River.

Two years ago, the family operated Newcastle Lumber company went into receivership, putting over 100 people out of work.

Last August, the New Brunswick government increased the Crown wood allocation for the mill.

The mill is now back in operation with a more modern infrastructure and a larger wood allocation.

Weyerhaeuser’s OSB mill

This OSB mill in Chatham has been idled since January 2007. Three different potential buyers have teased the hopes of the people of Miramichi, but nothing has materialized.

This mill was the largest buyer of private wood in the region, and it employed up to 150 people.

former Atcon Plywood mill

This little plywood mill is just west of the Miramichi Bridge in the former village of Nelson.

This mill has a colourful history. It was once known as the Nelson Forest Products plywood mill. That mill burned to the ground in 2002 after a freak fire.

Atcon Group of Companies rebuilt the facility in 2005, but the mill was idled in 2008 when the forest sector collapsed.

This mill still retains a 63,953 cubic metre Crown allocation.

It appears, according to the court-appointed receiver overseeing the sale of the former Atcon Plywood mill, that an interested buyer based in Gatineau, Que., has put in a $2.8 million offer to buy this mill. This unidentified buyer is also seeking an additional 27,000 cubic metres of Crown wood supply.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut