AbitibiBowater to invest $12-$17 million at Iroquois Falls
By Pulp & Paper Canada
By Pulp & Paper Canada
AbitibiBowater will be investing between $12-$17 million in the thermomechanical pulp mill and on paper machine number 8, the larger of the mill’s two machines. The pulp mill investment will result in improved pulp quality with the…
AbitibiBowater will be investing between $12-$17 million in the thermomechanical pulp mill and on paper machine number 8, the larger of the mill’s two machines. The pulp mill investment will result in improved pulp quality with the installation of additional pulp cleaning. Paper machine upgrades will result in improved wet-end formation and newsprint quality. As well, chip receiving and chip handling capabilities will be increased to allow the Iroquois Falls facility to operate on 100% externally supplied chips, with the mill’s current woodyard and woodroom being phased out.
“Today’s announcement is a critical step in improving the competitive position of our Iroquois Falls operation for the foreseeable future,” said Michel Maillé, vice-president, pulp and paper operations. “While it has been a good site over the years, this investment is necessary to meet today’s market and economic realities.”
The reconfiguration follows consultation with both the town of Iroquois Falls and the employees at the mill and their union representatives.
The increase in chip receiving and handling capability and the closure of the woodroom and wood yard will occur during the first half of 2012. It will result in a workforce reduction of approximately 60 positions. The pulp mill and paper machine investments will be made over the next 12 to 18 months.
“In addition to improving mill economics, the conversion to 100% externally supplied chips will also provide an outlet for chip residuals from sawmills on the Highway 11 corridor. This will be particularly important as markets for Ontario lumber recover,” added Maillé.
“Newsprint remains an important component of our business,” stated Richard Garneau, president and CEO of AbitibiBowater. “While market and economic conditions remain challenging, the company will invest where there is a good resource base, a strong workforce, and a receptive investment climate. The investments announced today reflect our view that the Iroquois Falls mill and its employees are worthy of our confidence and that Ontario is a good place to invest.”