Pulp and Paper Canada

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Abitibi holds out on upgrade


November 21, 2005
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Abitibi-Consolidated is holding out for better timber rights before it spends more money to upgrade a paper machine…

Abitibi-Consolidated is holding out for better timber rights before it spends more money to upgrade a paper machine at its Grand Falls-Windsor mill. According to the CBC, union representatives are claiming this contradicts what the company told the community last week.

Bill 27, which states that the company is required to have two machines in operation in Grand Falls-Windsor in order to maintain its wood supply until 2010, could force Abitibi to keep its PM7 running so as not to lose its wood access. Abitibi had been looking to close the machine by the end of the year.

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The CBC reported that according to a union representative, the company moved the closure date up to late 2008 or early 2009, and therefore, the union was under the impression the machine would be in operation for several more years. Abitibi has now said that’s not true and claims miscommunication led to the confusion.

As reported by the CBC, the company has confirmed it will not invest any more money in PM3 until the province renegotiates its timber rights, and that should the government decide to wait until 2010, it might be too late.

“We’re not going to invest tens of millions of dollars in a mill that doesn’t have a secure future,” the CBC reported Abitibi’s Seth Kursman as saying.


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