Demolition work begins at former St. Marys Paper mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; developers who bought the property still open to options for its use but say the stalled 35-MW cogeneration project might not be feasible without the mill

LOS ANGELES , May 24, 2012 () –

Crews are already taking apart papermaking equipment at the former St. Marys Paper Corp. mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, according to an executive from the company that bought the 38-acre mill site for development, reported The Sault Star on May 23.

The dismantling of machinery is in preparation for demolishing some of the site’s more modern buildings, although the historic sandstone structures are being kept as options are explored, said Willem Galle, a managing partner with Riversedge Development Inc.

So far, Ontario-based Riversedge has heard from parties interested in the site for renewable energy-related activities, either for co-generation or for wood-based products, he said. The Sault Star reported.

Demolition of the papermaking-related buildings and structures will take the remainder of the year to complete while the company also determines how it will develop the property, said Galle.

The mill’s general equipment -- including pumps and electric motors -- are set to be auctioned off at a sale overseen by Hilco International LLC on June 20. Riversedge is looking for buyers interested in the equipment specially suited to papermaking.

The site’s development could start as early as next February or March. In the meantime, the company still has a lot to do, overcome and discuss, said Galle, reported The Sault Star.

While the company is considering all the various possibilities for the site -- from residential to industrial development -- the only option in which no interest has been generated is in heavy industry or manufacturing, he said.

The site is large enough to accommodate a manufacturing facility alongside other uses, said Galle, The Sault Star reported.

The 35-megawatt (MW) co-generation project that St. Marys had proposed doing could possibly be revived; but it might not be feasible because of the loss of the paper mill, which consumed 50 MW of power, said Galle.

Riversedge expects to draw interest from those wanting to build office space and residential housing, including condominiums, townhouses and apartments, he said.

Hazardous materials have been completely removed from the buildings, and the environmental issues in the ground are believed by Riversedge to be “manageable,” said Galle, reported The Sault Star.

The primary source of this article is The Sault Star, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on May 23, 2012.


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