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Abitibi-Consolidated to idle Fort Williams paper mill

Feb. 20, 2007 - Abitibi-Consolidated today said that effective February 25, 2007, its Fort William paper mill located in Thunder Bay, Ontario will be idled for an indefinite period.

The mill has an annual production capacity of approximately 145,000 tonnes of commercial printing papers.

The shutdown will affect about 265 employees at the mill and an additional 88 employees associated with the woodlands operations.

"In spite of the efforts of our people to identify and implement opportunities for cost reductions, current market conditions, combined with high production costs, have led to this difficult but necessary action. We regret the impact of today's announcement on our employees, their families and the community," said Alain Grandmont, senior vice president, Commercial Printing Papers.

According to Abitibi, the Fort William mill has experienced frequent market-related shutdowns over the past six months. The mill was on Abitibi's in-depth review list in 2005 and a subsequent effort was made to sell the facility.

The Fort William employees, union representatives and local community leaders were informed today of the decision, the company said.

"We will continue to monitor the market to determine when or if production can resume at the mill," added Grandmont.

SOURCE: Abitibi-Consolidated




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