Employees, elected representatives and community leaders joined company executives at the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops, British Columbia, last fall to mark the mill’s 50th year of operations.
The operation began in 1965, when a new and innovative concept for utilizing waste materials from regional sawmilling operations was developed. Sawmill residuals or waste in the form of sawdust and wood chips would be used to make pulp, providing not only economic development in the region, but also addressing a significant environmental challenge facing sawmills of the day. A group of innovative entrepreneurs saw this opportunity and built a pulp mill in Kamloops.
On Nov. 30, 2015, the anniversary date, a piece of pulp was removed from the dry end of the machine and employees were invited to sign it. Throughout the week, employees added their signatures and public officials attending a special event on Dec. 4 also were invited to sign the commemorative sheet. It will be framed and displayed at the mill alongside a piece of pulp taken from the inaugural run back in 1965.
A custom-made time capsule was also sealed as part of the celebratory events. It contained a selection of items including photos, a copy of the local newspaper, a mobile phone and more. The time capsule is to be opened in 2040 on the mill’s 75th anniversary.
“Since 1965, this mill has grown with the local community,” said Michael Garcia, president of the Pulp and Paper division. “I thank all of the Kamloops mill employees for their work and focus on optimizing this mill and driving continuous improvement in a highly competitive market.”
Today the modern pulp mill produces specialty pulp for its customers along with renewable green energy for the operation and exports to the provincial power grid. Significant environmental focus and improvement has been and continues to be the focus of the mill.