Mercer Celgar

Mercer Celgar

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1921 Arrow Lakes Drive
Castlegar, BC
V1N 3H9
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    Welcome to Mercer Celgar

    Established in 1961, Mercer Celgar marked a significant development in British Columbia’s industrial landscape as the inaugural pulp mill in the interior region. Over the decades, it has played a pivotal role in Castlegar’s economic and social fabric and the broader West Kootenay area, emerging as a key employer and community pillar. 

    Its strategic positioning within one of British Columbia’s prime fibre baskets enhances its operational efficiency, with its close proximity to the BC coast providing logistical advantages for distribution and access to raw materials. This geographical advantage underscores Mercer Celgar’s commitment to leveraging local resources sustainably while contributing to regional growth.

    Innovation and Advancement

    Our journey towards innovation and advancement commenced in 1993 with a transformative $850 million rebuild. This significant investment modernized our mill into a high-quality, continuous process kraft pulp mill fully equipped with the latest power generation and environmental treatment technologies. This strategic upgrade was a testament to our commitment to environmental stewardship and proactive approach to addressing the challenges of climate change.

    The acquisition by Mercer in February 2005 marked the beginning of a series of strategic initiatives aimed at bolstering process efficiencies and augmenting our annual production capabilities. These efforts have been integral to our mission to enhance operational effectiveness while minimizing our environmental footprint.

    Key milestones in our journey include:

    Partnerships for Sustainable Forestry (2024): Our latest initiative involves collaboration with the Osoyoos Indian Band and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC. This partnership is focused on the responsible management of forestry resources, leveraging underutilized wood fibre, minimizing waste, and bolstering local economies. It underscores our commitment to sustainable resource utilization and carbon emissions reduction.

    Operational Enhancements (2019): Our efforts to refine operational efficiency continued with debottlenecking the pulp packaging line and establishing a turpentine extraction plant. These enhancements were pivotal in boosting production efficiency, reducing chemical expenses, and mitigating environmental impacts.

    Green Energy Project (2010): With an investment of $61 million, this project introduced a second turbine generator and upgraded the mill’s bark boiler and steam systems, elevating our energy generation capacity to 100 MW. The establishment of a 10-year electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro enabled us to sell surplus energy at advantageous green energy rates, further solidifying our commitment to sustainable practices.

    Project Blue Goose (2007): A pivotal initiative to ensure stable pulp production and electricity generation. By integrating best practices from our German counterparts and investing $24 million in capital improvements, we significantly enhanced the mill’s operational reliability and increased its production capacity to around 500,000 tonnes annually.

    These strategic investments and collaborative efforts have elevated Mercer Celgar’s leadership in the pulp industry. This was notably recognized in 2019 when we were honored with the Innovation Award by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) for our groundbreaking pulp-chip trailer design. 

    Developed through a two-year collaborative effort with a trucking firm and a trailer manufacturer, the innovative B-train trailer is designed to be robust enough for pulp transport, sufficiently lightweight for economical wood chip haulage, and compatible with existing loading and unloading infrastructure. This innovation marks a significant leap forward in reducing transportation costs and emissions, enhancing our productivity and sustainability footprint.


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    Recent News

    • Partnership for Sustainability: Transforming Wood Waste into Bioresources with the Osoyoos Indian Band and Mercer Celgar

      In Oliver, B.C., a notable collaboration between the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB), Mercer Celgar (Celgar), and the...

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    • Mercer International Inc. announces temporary curtailment of its Celgar pulp mill

      NEW YORK, NY, July 21, 2023 Mercer International Inc. ("Mercer" or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: MERC) today announced...

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    • Mercer Celgar’s Emergency Response Team – the 2023 Annual General Meeting

      Emergencies are events that pose a significant threat to safety and require an immediate response. High-risk workplaces,...

      Learn more

    Careers and Wellbeing

    At Mercer Celgar, our commitment to being the employer of choice in our region is unwavering. We take immense pride in collaborating with the local union to cultivate interesting and rewarding career paths for our workforce. Our team, comprising approximately 4 dedicated members, is at the heart of our operations, and we are continually seeking ways to broaden their horizons through expanded skills training partnerships, apprenticeships, and initiatives with community partners aimed at attracting highly skilled and talented individuals to our team.

    A cornerstone of our commitment to our team’s well-being is a wellness program, which has been a staple for over a decade and integrates principles of ergonomics and physiotherapy to foster a healthy working environment. With the guidance of our onsite physiotherapist, we offer proactive health interventions and training, resulting in notable improvements in job performance, morale, and overall quality of life for our team members. Our focus on health extends beyond the environmental impact of our operations to the personal well-being of every individual in our team.

    Our workforce is among the best in the industry, encompassing hundreds of lifelong team members whose diversity mirrors that of our organization. They bring a wealth of knowledge about our operations, contributing significantly to our success and innovation. By investing in our team’s continuous development and health, Mercer Celgar not only enhances the lives of our employees but also strengthens our position as a leader in the industry and a cornerstone of the community.

    Join Our Team

    • Mercer Celgar in the Community

      At Mercer Celgar, our contributions extend beyond pulp production; we are deeply committed to fostering a sustainable and vibrant economic future for Castlegar and its surrounding communities. Our dedication to enhancing the economic and social well-being of the area is reflected through our active partnerships and participation in regional initiatives. Working in concert with industry peers, community groups, and governmental bodies, we strive to lay the groundwork for a thriving, interconnected community.

      In recognition of our ongoing efforts, the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce honored Mercer Celgar with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023. This accolade is a testament to our enduring commitment and impactful contributions to the community’s prosperity.

      Our engagement with the community is multifaceted, encompassing regular donations to various local causes. These include contributions to community enhancement projects, non-profit organizations, charitable activities, and support for sports and community events. Moreover, our dedication to nurturing future generations is evident through our scholarship program, which provides $9,000 annually to deserving high school graduates in the area.

      Among our notable contributions is constructing the Celgar Pavilion at Millennium Park, offering a communal space for events and gatherings. Additionally, our efforts have brought to life the Celgar Drive-in, the drop-in launching ramp at the bike skills park, and the provision of an activity bus for Stanley Humphries Senior Secondary School, each initiative to enhance the community’s recreational and educational resources.

      The local BE SEEN pedestrian safety campaign is a cornerstone of our community engagement. Launched with the support of other local businesses, this initiative saw over 7,000 reusable reflective armbands distributed to residents, including primary and elementary Castlegar school students.

      Through these actions and more, Mercer Celgar remains steadfast in our commitment to the well-being and prosperity of our community, demonstrating our belief that a successful company contributes significantly to the social fabric of the regions in which it operates.