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Starts, Stops, Changes (July 01, 2009)


July 1, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Kruger Inc. will cease the production of coated paper at its Trois-Rivires, Que., mill for an indefinite period, effective October 30, 2009. The company cites as reasons to the decreasing demand for …

Kruger Inc. will cease the production of coated paper at its Trois-Rivires, Que., mill for an indefinite period, effective October 30, 2009. The company cites as reasons to the decreasing demand for coated paper, which dropped 35% in North America in 2009 over the previous year, as well as falling prices, and the appreciation of the Canadian dollar.

Three paper machines and two coaters will be shut down, as well as the wood-room and groundwood plants, resulting in approximately 400 layoffs. The Trois- Rivires mill will, however, continue to produce newsprint and supercalendered paper, maintaining 550 jobs at the site. The company will maintain coated paper production at its Wayagamack mill.

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Tembec announced a three-week extension to the previously announced curtailment of the Pine Falls, Manitoba Newsprint Operations. The original curtailment, which began on June 16, was estimated to be for three weeks.

“The market for newsprint continues to be challenging. This extended curtailment is a result of unacceptably low prices offered in some markets due to supply and demand imbalances and the black liquor tax credits available to some newsprint mills in the southern U. S.,” states Chris Black, executive vicepresident and president of the Paper Group.

Kruger has laid off 130 employees at its Corner Brook Pulp and Paper newsprint mill. The company had shut down the No. 4 paper machine earlier this year, and has now decided it will remain down indefinitely, until the market for newsprint improves.

Two other paper machines at the mill will remain active.

Tembec has announced a temporary curtailment of its newsprint and sawmill operations in Kapuskasing, Ont. The shutdown will run from July 24 to August 10, and is directly related to the ongoing challenging market conditions for newsprint and lumber. Approximately 510 employees at all levels of the newsprint, sawmill, and forestry operations will be affected.

Howe Sound Pulp and Paper (HSPP) will indefinitely curtail one-third of its newsprint production at its Port Mellon, B. C., mill. The company attributes the closure to “unsustainable low pricing in certain regions of the U. S. [which] are a direct result of the black liquor tax rebate.” The production curtailments will be accomplished through a combination of paper machine shut downs and reduced operating rates.


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