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Catalyst to permanently close Arizona recycled paper mill


July 31, 2012
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Catalyst Paper today announced the permanent closure of its Snowflake recycle mill located in northeastern Arizona and its subsidiary the Apache Railway Company. This follows extensive efforts to improve the operation’s financial performance in…

Catalyst Paper today announced the permanent closure of its Snowflake recycle mill located in northeastern Arizona and its subsidiary the Apache Railway Company. This follows extensive efforts to improve the operation’s financial performance in the face of intense supply and market pressures. The operation is scheduled to shut production on September 30, and the site will be prepared for sale and repurposing.

The closure is not anticipated to have any impact on operations at Catalyst’s three other mills in British Columbia.

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“The decision to close Snowflake is an extraordinarily difficult one given the exceptional effort that employees, unions and public officials have given to address the unique challenges at this mill,” said president and CEO Kevin J. Clarke.

Catalyst implemented a number of measures since acquiring the Snowflake operation in 2008, to address market challenges and input cost pressures. These included production of higher-value specialty paper grades at what was formerly a newsprint-only mill; capital investment; productivity, quality and service improvements; and competitive labour agreements. Catalyst has also explored a range of alternatives, including attempting to sell the mill on a going concern basis.

“Reduced quality of ONP as municipalities moved to single stream waste recovery combined with ONP price volatility driven by export markets were obstacles on the input side. Added to these challenges are the protracted demand decline for recycled newsprint and other printing papers. While we did everything possible to prevent this outcome, employees, vendors and customers needed the certainty that today’s announcement provides,” Clarke said.

Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse specialty mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp.


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