Catalyst Paper Port Alberni mill. Photo courtesy Catalyst Paper.

Catalyst Paper Port Alberni mill. Photo courtesy Catalyst Paper.

A family-owned Surrey-based forestry products company has announced plans to build a new sawmill in Port Alberni.

The San Group says it has agreed to buy 25-acres of the original Catalyst Port Alberni paper mill site.

The company says the agreement represents a total investment of between $60-$70 million dollars.

“The Catalyst operation is a vital component of our local economy and workforce,” said Port Alberni mayor Mike Ruttan.

“To strike an agreement that ensures a greater level of stability and increased job potential is an important vote of confidence and shot in the arm for our community.”

The San Group expects the project will create 135 jobs once the three phases are complete

Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2019.

“We have found a perfect synergy between two Canadian manufacturers,” said San Group CEO Kamal Sanghera.

“It’s the proverbial win-win for both the companies and the local workforce.”

The San Group already operates the Coulson mill in Port Alberni, which it bought from Wayne Coulson in 2017.

The announcement comes just a week after Catalyst Paper Corp. reached an agreement to sell its operations, including mills in Port Alberni, Crofton and Powell River, to Paper Excellence Canada of Richmond, B.C.

Paper Excellence is owned by a Dutch subsidiary of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas Group.


With files from Canadian Press 


Ben O'Hara