‘The market has really responded’
Port Hawkesbury Paper’s order books for 2019 are essentially full, a senior company official says.
It’s good news for the largest industrial employer in the Strait of Canso region, which is now six years removed from a year-long shutdown and sales process following the bankruptcy of its former American parent company.
The company embarked upon its own economic impact study recently, conducted by Gardner Pinfold. It looked at the gross value of output, gross domestic product, employment, labour income and taxes.
Allan Eddy is the mill’s director of business development, a role he has held since August. The reopening of the mill was assisted by an aid package of $124.5 million over 10 years from the province. The study was not something the mill was mandated to do under the terms of that agreement, Eddy said.
“I think it was important to demonstrate to ourselves and to the province the value that the company was bringing,” he said in an interview.
Port Hawkesbury Paper declined to release the full report when requested by the Cape Breton Post. Figures released by the company state that total expenditures by the mill have exceeded $1 billion since it reopened in 2012.
“The orders have been strong and the market has really responded to the quality of the product that the mill is putting out and our sales teams have been out there and we have sales to over 225 different printing outlets on five continents,” Eddy said.
The case for reopening the mill, which produces supercalendered paper for the catalogue, magazine and flyer market, was built on the mill being the one of the best facilities of its kind in the world, he added.
“The people here at the mill have really put their shoulder to the wheel to produce the best quality paper out there and it has been very well accepted in the marketplace,” Eddy said.
The mill provides 325 direct full-time equivalent jobs and an