Catalyst Paper employees work to put out a fire in the No. 4 paper machine’s dryer while waiting for Port Alberni Fire Dept. firefighters to arrive, Monday morning (March 11). SUBMITTED PHOTO

Fire halts work at Catalyst Paper in Port Alberni

Plant is due for ownership change later this month

Fire crews from Catalyst Paper and the Port Alberni Fire Department spent Monday morning (March 11) extinguishing a fire that started in the dryer at No. 4 paper machine. Crews were called to the mill shortly after 7 a.m. and finally left the scene at approximately 12:30 p.m.

“It was a bit difficult to fully extinguish,” PAFD chief Mike Owens said. “We got it knocked down in a fairly short period of time.”

Firefighters stayed on site “out of an abundance of caution” to ensure the fire was out; industrial areas usually have hard-to-access places, and Owens said his crew wanted to ensure everything was out. They stayed on site as Catalyst employees restarted the fans, watching for flare-ups.

No one was injured in the fire, according to a mill employee.

Owens said the fire is still under investigation, but it’s looking like a mechanical failure caused something to “warm up”. The fire is not suspicious, he added.

Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corporation will be taking over ownership of Catalyst Paper sometime later this month. In February the Canadian Competition Bureau cleared the British Columbia-based company to complete its purchase, which involves the purchase of all of the shares of Catalyst.

The companies announced the purchase in early October 2018.

Catalyst owns manufacturing facilities in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River, a distribution centre in Surrey and headquarters in Richmond. Catalyst manufactures 1.3 million tonnes of pulp and paper products for industrial packaging, food service, coated ground-wood, newsprint and directory papers.

Paper Excellence has five operating mills in Canada and two mills in France, producing NBSK pulp for the paper and tissue industry, and BCTMP for printing, board and packaging, for export to the Asian market.

“The acquisition has yet to be finalized,” Paper Excellence director of corporate communications Kathy Cloutier said.

“We anticipate mid-month.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

 

Smoke fills a portion of Catalyst Paper’s plant where the No. 4 paper machine is located. A fire began in the dryer at the paper machine on Monday, March 11. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Fire and ambulance crews respond to a fire in the No. 4 paper machine at Catalyst Paper on Monday, March 11. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Fire crews from Catalyst Paper and the Port Alberni Fire Dept. extinguish a fire that started in the dryer at the No. 4 paper machine, Monday, March 11. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Just Posted

Ladybird ends undefeated season with Spring League championship

Port Alberni spring basketball league ended after three weeks of playoffs

Port Alberni riders compete in Pony Club championships in Courtenay

Two riders earn ribbons at regional competition

Port Alberni contractor earns safety award

Mosaic Forest Management honoured 10 Vancouver Island contractors

Courtenay-Alberni Greens name Sean Wood as federal candidate

Nomination meeting took place June 15 at Hupacasath Hall in Port Alberni

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District approves one cannabis store, denies another

Stores would have been located across the street from one another in Cherry Creek

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

Most Read