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Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops bought by Kruger

It's business as usual as Montreal-based Kruger Inc. takes over the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops.

The 320 workers at the Kamloops mill will keep their jobs.

The Kamloops facility, which manufactures bleached and unbleached softwood kraft pulp, will continue to serve its existing customers and buy raw materials from local suppliers.

What will change is that Kruger will use some of the pulp from the Kamloops plant to make paper at Kruger mills in Quebec.

In fact, Kruger is investing $1 billion for the construction of two state-of-the-art tissue plants in Quebec.

And Kruger will continue to modernize the Kamloops mill.

</who>Marie-Claude Tremblay is the communications manager at Montreal-based Kruger Inc.

All this is important to the Thompson Okanagan economy because it preserves 320 good-paying jobs, may lead to more jobs, keeps production going at the Kamloops facility and ensures the pulp mill's $1 billion annually regional economic impact keeps going.

Kruger is not disclosing how much it paid for Domtar's Kamloops operation.

"The (Kamloops) mill is doing very well and the outlook is positive," said Kruger communications manager Marie-Claude Tremblay from the company's head office in Montreal.

"(That) is why we were very happy to have this opportunity to acquire the Kamloops facility and to secure the supply of high-quality pulp right here in Canada. There is a natural fit between Kruger and the Kamloops mill, which has an impressive track record in terms of performance, sustainability, safety and employee engagement."

</who>Kruger Specialty Papers Holding has acquired the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops, pictured above.

The Kamloops facility has been operating for 55 years and produces more than 400,000 air-dry metric tonnes of pulp annually.

It buys waste wood from sawmills and other suppliers in the Thompson Okanagan to make pulp, mostly from lodgepole pine and white spruce tree fibres.

Pulp is then used to make an array of products from facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towels and cardboard to printing and writing paper, beverage cartons, clothing and unbreakable dishware.

Kruger has a 115-year history, has 20 production facilities and 5,500 employees across North America and operates 42 renewable-energy power plants.

Kruger has two other plants in BC -- the Kruger Products tissue plant in New Westminster and Kruger Energy's Zeballos Lake Hydro Plant on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island.

Power plants are essential to fuel pulp-and-paper making facilities.

While Kruger's core business is pulp, paper and renewable energy, it also has a wine and spirits division.

Besides its facilities in Quebec and BC, Kruger also has operations in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in the US in Tennessee, Maine, New York, Virginia, Kentucky and Rhode Island.

Kruger is a privately held family company.

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