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Stops, Starts, Changes (February 01, 2010)


February 1, 2010
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Catalyst Paper has curtailed indefinitely its Crofton No. 1 paper machine due to weak newsprint and directory paper demand. The machine, which produces 140,000 tonnes of commodity grades on an annuali…

Catalyst Paper has curtailed indefinitely its Crofton No. 1 paper machine due to weak newsprint and directory paper demand. The machine, which produces 140,000 tonnes of commodity grades on an annualized basis, was temporarily idled on December 23, 2009 for the holiday period.

In a related move, the company’s paper recycling facility in Coquitlam, which supplies the Crofton paper machines with de-inked pulp, will be indefinitely shutdown in mid-February. Approximately 70 employees -36 at Crofton -will be laid off as a result of these curtailments.

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“There was a steep decline in market demand for the products made at our Crofton paper mill in the past year and the consumption outlook for these commodity grades remains weak. Reduced recycled pulp requirements, combined with the higher cost and constrained availability of quality recovered paper are contributing factors in our decision to indefinitely close our paper recycling facility,” said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer.

In early February, AbitibiBowater restarted paper machine No. 5 at its Thunder Bay plant. About 170 employees have returned to work. Company spokesman Jean-Philippe Cote attributes the restart to headway on the labour front and commitments from the Ontario government regarding wood supply and biomass.

Tembec announced in December that negotiations for a new collective agreement with CEP local 448 representing workers at its Chetwynd, B.C. high yield pulp mill had been successfully concluded. With this new agreement in place and market conditions for pulp improving, the Chetwynd mill was to be ramped up to full production by February.

The mill, which produces high yield pulp, had been shut down since February 2009. It employs roughly 160 people, of whom 115 are covered by the new collective agreement.

AbitibiBowater briefly halted paper production at its pulp mill in Fort Fran-ces, Ont., after the mill’s effluent treat- ment system exceeded it daily biochemi- cal oxygen demand (BOD) limit on Jan. 19. “Because of that, we had to shut down the mill to be in accordance with applicable laws and regulations,” said Jean-Philippe Cote, director of public affairs and government relations with AbitibiBowater. The mill restarted pro- duction several days later.

Domtar Corp. will be dismantling its permanently closed Prince Albert, Sas-katchewan pulp mill. The Prince Albert pulp and paper mill was permanently closed in the first quarter of 2006 and has not been operated since. The dis- mantling of the paper machine and converting equipment was completed in 2008 and the dismantling of the remain- ing assets is expected to start in early 2010.


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