Don Breen noted it’s a discussion that’s been taking place since the provincial government took possession of the former Bowater Mersey lands in 2012.
“Fifty per cent of our cost is the wood itself,” said Breen. “We’re looking at ways to reduce our costs by having more access to fibre.”
It had been reported in allNovaScotia.com, an exclusive online news site, that Northern Pulp was in danger of closing and had asked the province for a multi-million dollar bailout.
“That’s just not true and I don’t know where that came from,” said Breen. “There was no request for a bailout, only the formal request for access to Crown lands.”
He also noted that due to the rising market price of pulp and falling Canadian dollar, new workers have been hired on bringing the total to 277 employees at the mill.
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Minister of Natural Resources Zach Churchill noted he’s not aware of any imminent closure of the Abercrombie pulp mill.
“I don’t know anything about it, Northern Pulp is a private company,” said Churchill. “Any decisions they make rest with their board of directors.”
Churchill noted that, in general, the forestry in Nova Scotia has been dealing with challenges, particularly access to fibre in the province. He said discussions surrounding saw and pulp mill access to Crown lands are ongoing.