Resolute’s plan to invest $90 million for three major projects in Northwestern Ontario is well underway and includes a new sawmill in Atikokan, the upgrade and restart of our idled Ignace sawmill, and the production capacity increase and building of a wood pellet plant at our Thunder Bay sawmill. The projects will create about 175 new jobs in the region – not to mention many indirect jobs in areas like harvesting, hauling and forest management.
How are these projects coming along?
“We’re thrilled to report that all of our projects are on track,” says Mike Martel, Operations Vice President. “The Thunder Bay pellet mill and Atikokan sawmill are going up fast and Ignace is just starting to take off with the construction of new kilns and an energy system. Over one hundred construction workers are currently deployed at the three sites – and we’ve been accident-free since we started site preparation last August. We’re certainly very proud of all the hard work being done by our staff, suppliers and their employees.”
Atikokan Sawmill building under construction (photo by Terry Skiffington, Resolute Forest Products)
Like all Resolute operations, the new sites will be managed according to the three pillars of sustainability, which means environmental responsibilities will be balanced with social and economic ones.
First Nations groups are playing an important role in the new sites. At Atikokan, an agreement has been signed with six First Nations which will allow them to share in the benefits of the sawmill. First Nations Company Rainy Lake Tribal Construction has been an integral part of the construction projects taking on major construction contracts. We’re also working with First Nations to identify employment and business opportunities associated with the Ignace sawmill. The new Thunder Bay Wood Pellet Plant, which is integrated with our existing sawmill is located on Fort William First Nation territory.
Exciting things are happening in Northwestern Ontario, and we’re proud to be living and working there!