As it continues to operate under bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S., papermaker AbitibiBowater released further details about its restructuring plans, which includes the indefinite suspension of production at three Canadian mills, while another three Canadian operations will see paper-machine shutdowns. Another AbitibiBowater U.S.-based mill also faces an indefinite paper-machine shutdown.
According to a report from The Canadian Press (CP) news agency, the Montreal-based company estimates the closures, set to begin October 31, 2009, will affect 1,500 Canadians jobs. CP quotes the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which operates within the mills, stating that these cuts represent “disasters of historical proportions for communities that have been a mainstay of the Canadian forest industry.”
The shutdowns include operations at a digital printing paper plant in Beaupre, Quebec, as well as plants in Clermont (Quebec) Fort Frances (Ontario), and Brooklyn (Nova Scotia). At the start of September, the Montreal-based company announced the sale of approximately 121,000 hectares of private timberlands in Quebec for $53 million in cash.