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750 Contractors on Site for $13.5 Million in Scheduled Maintenance at Irving Pulp & Paper

Video: Howard Constable talks about the project.

SAINT JOHN: Over 750 contracted workers - most from over 30 companies that operate in New Brunswick - are on the job at Irving Pulp & Paper and Irving Tissue by Reversing Falls in west side Saint John. These workers are in addition to the team of 340 people that work at the Irving Pulp & Paper mill. 

Before the $450 million modernization project gets into full gear, the company is completing its regularly scheduled maintenance shut which occurs every 18 months. The $13.5 million project involves upgrades to virtually every area of the mill; but the big jobs include boiler inspections and repairs, the startup of new washing equipment, and a new control system. 

The work, which began on April 28, will be completed on May 8 and involves numerous trades including boilermakers, millwrights, welders, pipefitters, electricians, instrumentation specialists, as well as bricklayers. 

“We appreciate the skill and experience of these local contractors, and trades people are crucial to sustaining the pulp in Saint John,” said Mark Mosher, Vice President of Pulp and Paper Operations for J.D. Irving, Limited. “This maintenance shut is vital to maintaining a safe, efficient, and reliable mill and is also important to the many other communities in New Brunswick through the jobs and spin-offs this work brings. These contractors are part of a supply chain that includes 1700 businesses throughout NB that provide goods and services to our forest products operations.” 

“Large industrial plants like the pulp mill here in Saint John are the bread and butter of companies like ours and many others working on the mill site this week,” said Howard Constable, President of Lorneville Mechanical.  “We have 227 employees on site this week and our sister company Master Mechanical has already received work employing 80 people as the big project gets underway at the pulp mill. Lorneville Mechanical has grown its business and jobs because of the forest products industry here in New Brunswick.  We have brought workers home from the west because of jobs like this.” 

In the meantime, preliminary work – including pile driving, site preparation and foundation work - has begun as part of the $450 million modernization announced on March 13, 2014.