DAILY NEWS Dec 17, 2013 8:47 PM - 0 comments

Fortress Paper dissolving pulp mill takes market downtime

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Current market conditions are making it uneconomical to produce either dissolving pulp or northern bleached hardwood kraft at the Fortress Paper specialty cellulose mill in Thurso, Que., the company has announced.

Fortress Paper expects to take approximately 10 weeks of market downtime at the FSC Mill beginning December 22.

According to Fortress, the recent imposition of an interim duty by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on the import of Canadian dissolving pulp into China has made it uneconomical for the FSC Mill to continue producing dissolving pulp at this time and the current market pricing for northern bleached hardwood kraft (NBHK) pulp is not sufficient to warrant production.

Employees at the FSC Mill will be encouraged to take their holidays during this period of downtime. This market shutdown will also reduce the scheduled June 2014 maintenance shutdown and allow the company to manage its dissolving pulp inventory build-up.

Chadwick Wasilenkoff, CEO of Fortress Paper, said the downtime will reduce the “cash burn based on current market prices and the current preliminary duty that has been imposed.”

“During this downtime, we will continue to implement various operational improvements that will bring our overall cost structure down, as well as proactively focus on preventative procedures to enhance the FSC Mill's productivity and reliability when it resumes operation," he continued.

Fortress Paper operates internationally in two distinct business segments: dissolving pulp and security paper products.

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