High costs and market competition are being blamed for the permanent shutdown of Resolute Forest Products' Laurentide paper mill in Shawinigan, Que. A company statement said the mill's competitiveness has been affected by the restart of a competitor's mill at the end of 2012, the high cost of fiber, as well as higher transportation and fuel costs.
“We made every effort to find a way to improve the Laurentide mill's performance. Unfortunately, due to its cost structure and challenging market conditions, there is no economically viable option for the mill," stated Richard Garneau, president and CEO of Resolute.
The Laurentide mill has been in operation for more than 126 years. It employs 275, with an annual production capacity of 191,000 tonnes of commercial printing papers.
The permanent closure will take effect on or about October 15, 2014.
Resolute has committed to work with union representatives and government officials to respond to the needs of affected employees and encourage a smooth transition. As many employees as possible will to be transferred to other company facilities.
“We will do our utmost to ensure employee safety during the transition. We will also work closely with our customers to continue to meet their needs," added Garneau.
Resolute Forest Products produces a diverse range of products, including 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.