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REPORTING · 9th June 2010
Walter McFarlane
The Communications, Energy and Paper Workers Union Local 298, representatives of Kitimat City Council and Poyry met with West Fraser on Monday, May 31st to discuss the purchase of Eurocan and extending the deadline to purchase the mill.

“So we met with West Fraser last week and they’ve extended our timeline to the end of June to find investors for the mill. If we find somebody that comes to the table, they're willing to extend it for three or four weeks longer than that,” said Mary Murphy, President of CEP 298.

They are going to hire Poyry, the consulting group that did the viability study to show the mill could be making money in five years to try and find some serious investors. Murphy expressed Poyry are professionals in their field while the union members are just citizens.

“The business model that we have now that we are promoting to investors is a business plan, where we have viability study that shows we can be a viable mill and what potential investors will want to do is create their own business plan or hire a reputable person to do the business plan,” said Murphy.

The union is also going to seek investors from the community for the basis of the model. They expect to run a craft paper machine. One problem which lies on the horizon is that the plan requires 270 workers, and the union is aware many people who worked for Eurocan have retired or moved on.

“We have to look for that portion and seek investors,” said Murphy. “That way it will give any potential investor that comes forward the knowledge that we would want to go into this venture together with them,” said Murphy.

Murphy stated West Fraser will leave the assets in place until the deadline. “So we haven’t been given much time; till the end of June and that’s it,” concluded Murphy.