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Port Hawkesbury Mill Fate on Hold until September

June 28, 2006 - Stora Enso will most likely wait until September before deciding whether to restart its Port Hawkesbury mill in Nova Scotia, said company spokesman Jorma Westlund.

The delay in determining the future of the mill hinges on Stora Enso's request for reduced electricity rates from Nova Scotia Power, the province's privately owned electric utility.

A final answer is not expected before September, Westlund said.

Stora Enso has stated it would not restart the mill if electricity rates are not lowered.

The company last week overcame a major hurdle when union workers at the Port Hawkesbury mill narrowly voted to accept a new labor agreement that included a 10 percent wage reduction.

A labor dispute in January over wages, the use of sub-contractors and the company's recovery plan lead to a lockout and then a threat by Stora to shut the mill permanently if, among other things, wage concessions could not be agreed upon.

Stora charges that the mill has been uncompetitive because of high operating costs, weak markets and a strong Canadian dollar.

SOURCE: Industry news reports




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