Nov. 9, 2005
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Premier Bernard Lord handed over the keys and ownership of the Nackawic mill to AV Nackawic Inc. at a news conference today in Nackawic. The company will immediately begin hiring staff and retrofitting the mill in order to begin production in early 2006. The facility has been closed since Sept. 14, 2004.
Lord took part in the event with Business New Brunswick Minister Peter Mesheau, Aditya Birla business director Shailendra Jain, Tembec Inc. CEO Frank Dottori, and Barry Elsliger, president of CAW Union Local 219.
"This is a very important day for the people of Nackawic, and for the entire province," Lord said. "This community has faced a challenging year, and every step of the way it has demonstrated patience and a willingness to do what was necessary to see the mill operate once again. The opening of the facility will breathe new life into the Upper St. John River Valley, and the businesses across New Brunswick that benefit from its operation.
"I would like to thank the management of Birla, Tembec, and AV Nackawic Inc. for their commitment to this operation, and to the Province of New Brunswick," the premier said. "We are at the beginning of a great partnership, and I look forward to AV Nackawic Inc. becoming an important part of our province's business community."
"I am delighted that this deal has reached an end," Jain said. "Its conclusion symbolizes the spirit of co-operation between the provincial government, the workmen and unions, the Birla-Tembec partnership, and many others. I hope we can continue to build on this spirit of togetherness and understanding to make AV Nackawic Inc. a long-term success. On behalf of the Aditya Birla Group, I wish to thank all concerned for their contributions and commitment to this process."
"In view of today's market conditions, this will be a challenging startup," Dottori said. "We should not underestimate the challenge. However, I feel confident that with the commitment we've seen from the provincial government, the Birla Group, and in particular the employees, we will see it through to a successful conclusion and bring much-needed benefits to the region."
The Government of New Brunswick is providing AV Nackawic Inc. with a $20 million loan for the purchase of the facility, and a $26.75 million loan to assist with the retrofit and expansion project. The government will also provide a loan guarantee of $20 million.
AV Nackawic Inc. expects to hire about 250 employees at the mill, and plans to begin production in January 2006.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Chisholm Pothier, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286; Sarah Ketcheson, communications, Business New Brunswick, 506-444-4983; S.V. Sharda, AV Nackawic Inc., 506-759-4164; Pierre Brien, Communications and Public Relations, Tembec Inc., 819-629-9695.