By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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“The company is grateful for Harold's many outstanding contributions during his career at NPIUSA, and his presence will be greatly missed,” according to a prepared statement released by Human Resources Manager Cathy Price.
In an interview, Price said Norlund gave notice Wednesday that he would resign to take another position and that company employees learned of his departure from the mill at the base of Ediz Hook this morning.
“It was a shock for all of us,” she said.
Company President Chris Nagaura will have overall responsibility for corporate matters while Ryan Tsuruga, Nippon's vice president of operations, will continue to manage operational functions, the statement said.
“We know everyone in Port Angeles will join the company in wishing Harold and his family the best,” it said.
Norlund did not immediately return calls requesting comment.
Norlund, who has served as an executive at the mill for 12 years, leaves in the wake of Nippon's shutdown from Feb. 23 until Sunday.
The shutdown occurred so that repairs could be conducted on the company's newly expanded biomass cogeneration plant, which generates electricity for sale and to produce steam for the plant.
The plant, originally estimated to cost $71 million, was completed for $85 million because of higher-than-expected expenses for the cooling dower and a redesign of the fuel silo and foundation.
Price said Norlund, longtime mill manager, was promoted to executive vice president last year.
Price said Norlund's departure had nothing to do with the operation of the mill.
“Absolutely not,” she said.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.