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Resolute closes PM9 at Alma paper mill


March 10, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The permanent closure of paper machine #9 at Resolute Forest Products’ mill in Alma, Que., is in response to “market weakness, exacerbated by fiber cost issues in Quebec, as well as ongoing misinformation campaigns by…

The permanent closure of paper machine #9 at Resolute Forest Products’ mill in Alma, Que., is in response to “market weakness, exacerbated by fiber cost issues in Quebec, as well as ongoing misinformation campaigns by Greenpeace and other environmental activist groups,” the company said.

The Alma paper mill employs approximately 340 people and has an annual production capacity of 350,000 tonnes of specialty papers across three machines. PM9 will be shut down at the beginning of April, resulting in the elimination of about 85 jobs and the permanent reduction of some 75,000 tonnes of production capacity.

“The decision to rationalize our paper production capacity in Alma was a difficult one to make, as we are mindful of the impact it will have on the affected employees,” said Richard Garneau, Resolute’s president and chief executive officer. “Resolute remains committed to customer service and to the delivery of high-quality products, and will work closely with customers to continue to meet their needs.”

Garneau struck out at Greenpeace specifically, saying the organization’s “ill-founded attacks misrepresent the company’s forest management practices and cast unwarranted doubt on Resolute’s compliance with Quebec’s Loi sur l’aménagement durable du territoire forestier and our sustainability leadership.”

“These misinformation campaigns impact Resolute and people’s lives, as they further destabilize the industry, triggering socioeconomic consequences for the communities that depend on the boreal forest for their livelihood,” added Garneau.

Resolute has said it will work with union representatives and government officials to respond to the needs of affected employees. Local management will ensure that as many employees as possible are transferred to other company facilities.

Resolute Forest Products produces newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products at about 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada.