History of the Site
The Woodfibre site was originally known as Swig’a’t (pronounced Sway Ott) by the peoples of the Skwxwú7mesh or Squamish First Nation who have lived in the region for centuries.
- In the early 1900s, a small sawmill was built at the site, and the area was referred to as Mill Creek.
- In 1910, the British Columbia Sulphite Fibre Company began construction of a pulp plant which began operations in 1912.
- In 1917, Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd. purchased the company as well as a number of pulp mills on B.C.’s west coast.
- In 1921, it was deemed that the growing town around the pulp mill required a new name, as another post office in Canada was already called Mill Creek. A naming contest was subsequently held and local resident Cathy Haar won a $50 prize with her submission of “Woodfibre”.
- In 1925, L.W. Killam formed B.C. Pulp & Paper Limited which took over the site from Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills.
- In 1951, Alaska Pine Co. and Abitibi bought B.C. Pulp & Paper and formed a new company called Alaska Pine & Cellulose Limited.
- In 1958, the Alaska Pine & Cellulose plant was shut down and many residents were forced to move away. It was eventually purchased by Rayonier Canada Ltd., but the town began to be phased out over the next few decades.
- In 1980, Rayonier was taken over by a consortium of forest companies including BC Forest Products, Doman Industries and Whonnock Industries, and was renamed Western Forest Products. The mill was modernized and upgraded in 1985.
- In 2006, Western Forest Products closed the pulp mill. Since then, the site has been inactive.
- In 2013, Woodfibre LNG Limited signed a purchase agreement with Western Forest Products to acquire the Woodfibre property. As a condition of purchase, Western Forest Products is responsible for cleaning up the site, and obtaining a Certificate of Compliance from the Ministry of Environment.