Lake Utopia Paper, Limited (LUP) recently completed their annual seven-day shut down for scheduled maintenance and the installation of new equipment to improve efficiency and increase production. Nearly 400 local contractors were on site from 37 different companies. They worked together with the team of nearly 140 staff and hourly LUP employees to get the job done.
Shut down's like this involve many moving pieces and safety is always the top priority. Scene Safety Company is a Saint John company that was on site to ensure best safety practices regarding confined space training. “It’s important for small local businesses like ours to earn these contracts from large operations like J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI). JDI very much supports local contractors. The shut downs are large scale and the company's maintenance records are impeccable. Every time they do these projects it allows our local economy to thrive. We put many contractors to work during these periods and for a lot of folks in this area, shut down work is their livelihood and JDI is certainly a strong component of that.” said Reg Verner, President of Operations and Co-Owner, Scene Safety Company.
“All 138 employees of LUP were involved in the shutdown along with 4 retirees who came back to give us a hand. It was a great team effort. Everyone was motivated and energetic through the week. This was one of the most successful shutdowns I have been involved with over the past 35 years and that is a real tribute to the team.” said Dale Chaffey, Mill Manager, Lake Utopia Paper.
For five university and college co-op students the shut down provided a unique learning opportunity. “When they took the old machine out and brought the new machine in there were some upgrades the old one didn’t have that were really cool to see. There were some instrumentation inside the driers that I wouldn’t normally get to see. I learned a lot about program logical controllers which are a part of my future studies.” said Dawson Borthwick, Electrical & Instrumentation Student, Lake Utopia Paper.