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J.D. Irving to Invest $450 million for Modernization of Irving Pulp & Paper

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J.D. Irving Ltd., Saint John, N.B, Canada, reports that it will invest $450 million in a two-phased modernization program of its Irving Pulp & Paper "west side pulp mill" in Saint John. It is the largest investment in a pulp mill in Canada since 1993. The project will generate 1.2 million person hours of construction work over two phases—equivalent to a total of 600 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs. The pulp mill investment involves no provincial or federal government funding.

"This investment is a tribute to the everyday skill, passion, and dedication of all employees who help sustain world class forest products operations from our home here in New Brunswick. The pulp mill is a cornerstone for thousands of jobs, from foresters and woods workers to private wood producers, sawmills, paper, corrugated medium, and high value tissue products. Throughout New Brunswick, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the industry—more than 1,700 suppliers in 250-plus communities," said Jim Irving, Co-CEO of J.D. Irving.

"We appreciate the commitment of the Province to ensure a sustainable wood supply that makes this modernization program possible," Irving continued. "A growing wood supply will be achieved while ensuring responsible environmental performance that includes watercourse protection, habitat conservation, an ongoing $1.5 million investment in forest research every year, as well as independent third party audits. That is the commitment of our team of more than 150 forestry professionals who work in the woods of New Brunswick."

This spring, the company will invest $198 million in a 24-month project to build a new chip screening and handling system as well as a new pulp digester. The new, modern digester will replace the 14 existing digesters at the site. The project will reduce air and noise emissions. As part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process for this project, a public meeting will be held at St. Patrick’s School on March 25.

A second investment of $250 million will commence with engineering work this coming fall. The project involves installing a modern new pulp dryer to replace the existing three dryers on site. This project is estimated to take 30 months with the construction start date dependent on market conditions.

"New Brunswick’s forestry sector was built by strong partners, and Irving Pulp and Paper’s $450 million mill rejuvenation project demonstrates that the future of our province’s biggest economic sector is as bright as its past," said Premier David Alward. "I want to congratulate Irving Pulp and Paper for the confidence it is placing in New Brunswick’s greatest resource, its people. This project will put boots in the woods and in our mills in every region of our province."


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