Resolute Forest Products Inc. of Montreal announced plans to permanently close its Laurentide paper mill in Shawinigan, Quebec, effecting approximately 275 employees.
The Laurentide mill, in operation for over 126 years, has an annual production capacity of 191,000 metric tonnes of commercial printing papers. The permanent closure will take effect on or about October 15, 2014.
“We made every effort to find a way to improve the Laurentide mill’s performance,” stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolute. “Unfortunately, due to its cost structure and challenging market conditions, there is no economically viable option for the mill.”
Resolute points to a range of reasons for the closure, including the restart of a competitor’s mill at the end of 2012, the high cost of fibre, as well as higher transportation and fuel costs.
An article by Theglobeandmail.com about Laurentide’s closing points to the late-2012 reopening of Pacific West Corp.’s mill in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, with capacity to produce 360,000 tonnes of paper – almost double Laurentide’s capacity. The Globe reports Pacific West paid $33 million for the paper mill and that it reopened with $124.5 million in provincial assistance for the next 10 years.
Resolute Forest Products produces newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. The company owns or operates nearly 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada.
Read the full report by The Globe and Mail