HALIFAX — Northern Pulp says it is focusing on cleaning equipment at its mill in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County, as operations wind down in preparation for an indefinite shutdown by Jan. 31.

 By: Canadian Press

The Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation mill is seen in Abercrombie, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX — Northern Pulp says it is focusing on cleaning equipment at its mill in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County, as operations wind down in preparation for an indefinite shutdown by Jan. 31.

Paper Excellence Canada, the mill’s parent company, says it is discussing the mill’s “hibernation plan” with the government, after reversing its position this week and declaring its commitment to stay in the province for the long term.

The province’s environment minister last month rejected the company’s latest attempt to get approval for a plan to pump treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait.

A Sunday statement from Paper Excellence says that as of next week, only the facility’s wood waste boiler will be operating to provide heat while equipment is cleaned.

Paper Excellence says the operation will involve removing chemicals, pulp and wood fibre from storage tanks, piping and yards.

Premier Stephen McNeil said last month that the company would have to comply with the legislated Jan. 31 deadline to close its effluent facility in Boat Harbour, N.S., near the Pictou Landing First Nation.

The company says it doesn’t know how long the closure will last but reiterated Sunday that it intends to continue with the province’s environmental assessment process.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2020.