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Industry News (December 01, 2008)


December 1, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Smurfit-Stone Closes Pontiac Mill

Smurfit-Stone Closes Pontiac Mill

Portage-du-Fort, QC -Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation has announced the permanent closure of its Pontiac pulp mill in Portage-du-Fort, Que. About 218 employees have been affected.

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“The mill produces Northern Bleached Hardwood Kraft paper-grade pulp, which is not core to the company’s transformation strategy. The rapidly deteriorating conditions in the pulp market necessitate that the company take prompt action to avoid cash losses,” president and CEO Steve Klinger said.

The mill was scheduled to close on Oct. 31.

Grand Falls mill shut

Grand Falls, NF -Montreal-based AbitibiBowater announced it was permanently shutting its newsprint mill in Grand Falls, Nfld. on Dec. 4. The move will put about 450 employees out of work.

As part of its plan to curtail production by about 1 million tonnes, AbitibiBowater also announced plans to close its mill in Covington, Tenn. and idle another mill in Alabama and two paper machines in Calhoun, Tenn. in addition to shutting the Grand Falls mill. The Grand Falls mill has an annual capacity of about 205,000 tonnes of newsprint.

The decision comes about one month after Grand Falls employees rejected AbitibiBowater’s final offer to keep it open, which would have included wage reductions and layoffs.

Course spotlights printing issues

Pointe-Claire, QC -FPInnovations- Paprican held their Printing for Papermakers course in Pointe Claire, Que. from Oct. 20-22. The course, which has been held every year but three since 1991, offered participants insight into the principles of modern printing and print quality testing, and demonstrated how this knowledge can be applied at the mill.

The three-day intensive course covered a number of topics, including paper properties, ink chemistry, quality testing and microscopy, and culminated in a hands-on discussion and analysis of different types of prints and printing problems, highlighted by some examples and case histories brought in by the students themselves.

“A paper machine superintendent or a mill tester -to name only two categories that we see -can only gain if they understand why product specifications are set in a certain way, and how mill issues can affect their customer. Sometimes, knowledge of printing can be a form of self-defence for the mill: not every pressroom complaint is the fault of the paper,” said the course’s curriculum director, Dr. Joe Aspler. “It is even instructive to discuss printing issues with market pulp mills. The printer may be their customer’s customer; but what goes on in the market pulp mill can easily affect the printer -for better or for worse.”

For more, visit www.fpinnovations.ca.


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