Lumber products owner eyes Blackville sawmill

Blackville Mayor Greg Hollowood revealed this week that Danny Anderson is looking to buy the Blackville sawmill’s assets.

“He’s going to … probably run the planer and the dry kiln, to start,” he said of the owner of Miramichi Lumber Products, formerly Newcastle Lumber.

Anderson, owner of Miramichi Lumber Products, confirmed the company was looking to purchase the mill’s assets, but said no deal had been finalized as of yet. He said there would be more news within the next few weeks.

Hollowood made the remarks at the launch of Blackville’s new community centre, after Southwest Miramichi MLA Rick Brewer told the assembled crowd an unnamed company was looking to purchase the mill’s assets

When questioned by media, Hollowood said he was pleased at the news.

“That’s good, because with it down, I mean, there’s a lot of people need the employment,” he said.

“The people, mill workers, that [didn’t] do much more for most of their lives. If they can get a job there, it’d be great, because they’re all going out west…”

He said around 70 people had worked at the mill in its heyday, and he himself worked there for several years.

Brewer, for his part, told the assembled crowd at the Blackville announcement the assets had been purchased.

“There will be something happening there within the next couple of weeks,” he said.

When questioned later, Brewer said he did not know the value of the upcoming deal.

“It makes me feel really good, because that means that there will be some jobs back at that mill site,” he said.

“There was little to no hope for that site … this is going to put some people back to work, and that’s good news.”

The Blackville sawmill was shut down by its then-owners UPM-Kymmene in 2007, and never reopened. It was purchased by Umoe Solar in early 2009.

Brewer added it was his understanding Anderson intended to use the planer and kilns at the site to finish product put out by the company’s main facility in Miramichi.

That mill was in receivership for several months last year, until the provincial government announced in February it was giving Anderson a $1.5 million loan for a capital and equipment modernization plan, as well as a $1.5 million working capital loan guarantee.

As well, the facility’s Crown wood allocation was expected to almost double to 150,000 cubic metres.

It is expected to officially reopen within the next few weeks.

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