Cascades Reopening Paper Mill, Again

Cascades mill in Thunder Bay, Ontario—which shut down in 2006—has reopened. Again.

Formerly known as Thunder Bay Fine Papers, which reopened last year but failed, the mill has now reopened again under private ownership and will be known as Superior Fine Papers. A group of private investors—Jay, Andrew and Dan Sinclair— have worked, along with former shareholders of the mill, to get the mill opened.

The mill has been in receivership, according to a release, and faced being sold to a company reportedly planning to sell off the equipment. It cost up to $35 million to get the mill up and running, the release says. The mill has previous lives under the Provincial, Abitibi and Cascades banners.

Most of the former jobs have returned, but it remains unclear when the mill will officially open. The mill had invested in excess of $20 million dollars in upgrades under the Thunder Bay Fine papers banner.

“The market is always ready for great products at the right place and the right price”, Marc Goguen, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a release, “and we are in the process of talking to customers about this right now. The reaction has been overwhelming. In fact we have letters of commitment from our key customer base in excess of 90,000 tons, which is roughly half of the mill’s output; we are all overwhelmed by the support.”

John Hitchman, vice president of operations, added: “The machines are ready to roll and all we need is a few weeks to get the supercalendars ready and run some paper.

Superior Fine Papers will make known brands such as Jenson Plus, Thunder Gloss and Route 88 as well as several coated and non-coated postal reply card products. The mill also plans on introducing several niche grades that can respond to recent market demand.

Dan Walsh, vice president of catalog/publication papers at distributor Bradner Smith & Co., says he’s excited about the old mill reopening. “The Canadian dollar, hovering around 80 cents, combined with cheaper energy and fuel costs, will help this mill stay afloat this time,” he says.

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