Catalyst Cutting Newsprint, Pulp Production in Q1

Jan. 22, 2009 - Catalyst Paper said that it will take market-related downtime at its Crofton and Elk Falls mills in British Columbia, Canada, as well as its Snowflake, Arizona mill.

The downtime will remove 55,000 tons of newsprint in the first quarter.

The Crofton No. 1 paper machine, which produces 140,000 tons per year of newsprint, will be idled on February 1 and remain shut down until market conditions improve, with layoffs affecting approximately 50 employees.

Curtailments at the Elk Falls and Snowflake mills will vary in duration and will be aligned with order file requirements, Catalyst said.

"The slowdown in newspaper advertising along with restructuring by publishers in key paper markets is unprecedented, and conditions are expected to remain very challenging in the foreseeable future," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer.

In a related move that reflects weaker pulp markets, the Crofton kraft pulp mill will add to a planned maintenance shut, with market-related downtime, bringing the total curtailment to 35 days and removing 38,000 tons of market pulp from production in the first quarter, the company said.

2009 - Q1 Production Curtailment (000 tonnes)
				Newsprint	Pulp	Total
Snowflake (Jan/Feb/Mar)		20.0		-	20.0
Crofton (Jan/Feb/Mar)		22.0		38.0	60.0
Elk Falls (March)		13.0		-	13.0
Total				55.0		38.0	93.0

As a result of weaker paper markets in the fourth quarter of 2008, Catalyst said that it took curtailments that removed 73,000 tons of newsprint, 27,000 tons of specialty printing papers, and 72,000 tons of pulp from production.

Catalyst is the largest producer of specialty printing papers and newsprint in Western North America and also produces market kraft pulp and owns Western Canada's largest paper recycling facility. The company's six mills have a combined annual capacity of 2.4 million tons of production. Catalyst is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia,

SOURCE: Catalyst Paper

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