GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. has announced that it plans to use a large $17.2 million (CAD) performance-based loan from the Province of Ontario to support a proposal to relocate, improve, and expand the former Kenora Forest Products mill site. This performance-based loan is conditional on Ontario and the company finalizing a contract and completion of key project milestones.
In a press release, GreenFirst says it plans to relocate all of the existing mill equipment and infrastructure to a new location in the Kenora area, which is currently unspecified. GreenFirst is also looking at changing the facilities layout, while modernizing and updating its operations.
Commenting on the proposal, Paul Rivett, Chairman of GreenFirst Forest Products, said, “The land value as a well-planned development far exceeds its value as a sawmill site. We believe the relocation of the mill will unlock the land for redevelopment that would become a source of pride for the community,”
Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, says the success of the forestry sector depends on local projects such as this. “By supporting GreenFirst Forest Products, we’re creating local jobs and investing in prosperity in Kenora – ensuring a strong and prosperous forest sector which can provide for communities across Northern Ontario,” said Rickford.
Rickford added that these improvements would increase production and create up to 85 new direct jobs and potentially more than 135 indirect jobs at the mill. Rickford and GreenFirst note that included within the numerous jobs, they will be collaborating with the Indigenous community through Miisun Integrated Resource Management Inc. to secure fiber thresholds. GreenFirst will also be working with local logging companies to look for the best fiber sources.
If completed, this project is expected to generate over $75 million in GDP and annual stumpage revenue of $4.3 million.
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$17.2 million to relocate Kenora mill, develop 114 acres of property