Catalyst Paper to Idle PM 1 at Crofton Paper Mill

Jan. 21, 2010 - Catalyst Paper today announced that the No. 1 paper machine at its Crofton mill in British Columbia will be curtailed indefinitely due to weak newsprint and directory paper demand.

The machine, which produces 140,000 tonnes per year of commodity grades, was temporarily idled on December 23, 2009 for the holiday period.

In a related move, the company's paper recycling facility in Coquitlam, which supplies the Crofton paper machines with de-inked pulp, will be indefinitely shutdown in mid-February.

Approximately 70 employees – 36 at Crofton – will be laid off as a result of these curtailments.

"There was a steep decline in market demand for the products made at our Crofton paper mill in the past year and the consumption outlook for these commodity grades remains weak," said Richard Garneau, president and CEO.

"Reduced recycled pulp requirements, combined with the higher cost and constrained availability of quality recovered paper are contributing factors in our decision to indefinitely close our paper recycling facility," Garneau added.

The Crofton mill employs about 770 people and operates three paper machines and three pulp lines. The mill has an annual production capacity of 200,00 tonnes of newsprint and 210,00 tonnes of directory paper, along with the capacity to produce 343,000 tpy of NBSK pulp.

SOURCE: Catalyst Paper

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