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Tembec takes temporary downtime (July 25, 2006)


July 25, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Tembec is scheduling several temporary shutdowns at ten of its Ontario and Quebec sawmills. Depending on the site, …

Tembec is scheduling several temporary shutdowns at ten of its Ontario and Quebec sawmills. Depending on the site, the closures will last anywhere from one, to four weeks.

“These shutdowns are being taken due to a combination of factors,” said Dennis Rounsville, executive vice president and president of Tembec’s forest products group. “These include overall market conditions, product pricing and the annual two-week construction holiday in Quebec.”

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Although most of the shutdowns will only last two weeks, the Timmins operation will be out of commission for four or more weeks. “The Timmins mill has some particular challenges to overcome,” Rounsville said of the extended shutdown.

The shutdowns come at a relatively good time, according to vice president of communications and public affairs Pierre Brien. “For the most part, people in Quebec are taking their vacations now anyway, as it’s the construction holiday. Even in Ontario, many people take their holidays at this time.” However, as Brien acknowledged, the situation is slightly different in Timmins. The mill laid off roughly 20 people earlier in the year, and capital investment might have to be made in order to make continued operation viable. “Employees at Timmins have a clear understanding of the situation, but they do want to know what will happen. There are several possible solutions, and we’re working on them.”

As for whether or not Tembec is willing to invest money in the sawmill should expenditures be requisite, Brien was somewhat hesitant. “It’s not an easy time to make an investment,” he noted. “There has to be very little risk involved. But, there are a number of possible solutions and we’re looking into them now.”

Altogether, the closures will effectively remove 33 million boardfeet from the market, and will see roughly 1,500 people temporarily unemployed.


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