Canadian Manufacturing

‘Complete transformation’ of idled N.S. mill includes treated wastewater in harbour

Mill owner Paper Excellence says its $350-million transformation plan would cut water use by nearly half.

July 15, 2021  The Canadian Press

The company behind a beleaguered mill in northern Nova Scotia is proposing a “complete transformation” of its operations in an effort to reopen the idled kraft pulp mill.

The plan to restart Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp. involves releasing treated wastewater into Pictou harbour, which opens to the lobster fishing grounds of the Northumberland Strait.

Mill owner Paper Excellence says its $350-million transformation plan would cut water use by nearly half, reduce wastewater “components” by 75 per cent, lower visible plumes above the mill by 70 per cent and remove detectable odours during normal operations.

Graham Kissack, vice-president of environment and health and safety with Paper Excellence, says the company acknowledges community concerns and wants to work to build trust and finalize a transformation plan for a clean and sustainable mill.

Advertisement

The plant, which once employed about 300 people, was shuttered in January 2020 after then premier Stephen McNeil decided Northern Pulp would no longer be allowed to dump effluent near the Pictou Landing First Nation.

In June 2020, the mill was granted protection from its creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, a move aimed at allowing the company to restructure.