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Resolute’s New Planer Mill Boosts Local Production

Inaugurated on January 30, Resolute’s new planer mill located in Senneterre (Quebec), adjacent to the company’s sawmill, has been ramping up these past weeks and is well on its way to achieving full capacity. Following a two-year construction process, the mill began operating early in November. With an average speed exceeding 40,000 board feet per hour, the facility will be able to process 275 million board feet of lumber annually. Resolute’s C$45 million investment in the Senneterre operations will optimize Resolute’s fiber supply, enhance the overall efficiency of the adjacent sawmill, reduce production costs at our Abitibi regional operations and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also helps ensure that every tree is used optimally.

The planer mill is a welcome complement to the company’s existing operations in the Abitibi region. Previously, most wood harvested and sawed in the area was trucked to Resolute facilities in other Quebec regions for processing. Now, locally harvested wood can be sawed, dried and planed right in Senneterre, resulting in a significantly streamlined process and a sizable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The adjoining thermal power plant also transforms bark into electricity.

While the new facility greatly increases planing capacity in Senneterre, its efficiency means fewer positions will be needed for planer operation. Employees who worked on the old planing machine will transition into newly created roles in the sawmill, increasing its production and maintaining the total workforce count at 153. The new planer operation’s impact on the local economy has been far-reaching, with a large majority (90%) of the civil engineers, equipment suppliers and labor involved in its construction based in Quebec. Hardy Construction in nearby Amos and Promec in Rouyn-Noranda were major players, as were 16 other firms from the province.

Pierre-Luc Bluteau, director of Engineering, Wood Products, recognized the important roles his colleagues played in bringing the planer mill to fruition. “There are people who really put their hearts into this project,” he said. “The dedicated efforts of the project and operations teams made it all possible.”

Caption (l. to r.): Michel Cyr, vice president, Operations, Céline Brindamour, prefect, Regional County Municipality of Vallée-de-l’Or, Nathalie-Ann Pelchat, mayor, Senneterre, Hugues Simon, president, Wood Products, André Boucher, general manager, Senneterre sawmill and Pierre Dufour, MPP for Abitibi-Est

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