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Pope & Talbot to Temporarily Cut NBSK Production

Aug. 1, 2007 - Pope & Talbot yesterday said that it will temporarily reduce the production of NBSK pulp at its Harmac Pulp Mill in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

The Harmac Mill, one of the largest producers of NBSK pulp in Canada, will curtail one of its three lines due to a reduced supply of affordable fiber in the coastal region, the company said.

The move is expected to reduce the productive capacity of the 400,000-ton per year facility by approximately 17%, or about 68,000 tons, Portland, Oregon-based Pope & Talbot said.

Some 70 mill employees will be affected by the decision.

Pope and Talbot CEO Harold Stanton said the move was necessary to ensure that the company could continue to honor customer contracts and attributed conditions leading to the decision to a reduction of lumber capacity in the coastal region and the strong Canadian dollar. The current Steelworkers coastal strike will worsen the situation in the near-term, he added.

"Given the external conditions, there is only so much affordable fiber available to us. That which we can cost-effectively procure, must go to honoring contracts with our key customers," Stanton said. "While this will be tough news for some of our employees, we do have the flexibility to return to full capacity as conditions improve."

SOURCE: Pope & Talbot




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