Mill shutdown extended


Resolute Forest Products will be shutting down the kraft mill and both paper machines at its Fort Frances operation until the end of January or when market conditions improve, a company spokesperson reported Friday.
The company had announced in late November that it would be curtailing its paper-making operations at the local mill for the final five weeks of 2011 due to poor market conditions.
But on Friday, Seth Kursman, vice-president, corporate communications, sustainability and government affairs, confirmed not only will the kraft mill be shut down at Christmas, but both kraft and paper-making operations will be halted until the end of the January or when market conditions improve.
“Due to the pulp market conditions, the Fort Frances [kraft] mill will go down at Christmas as originally planned but will restart only at the end of January, assuming market conditions have improved,” Kursman said in an e-mail.
“We already had one paper machine down for market curtailment and with the kraft mill down, it doesn’t make sense financially to keep the other paper machine running,” he added.
“Over 300 employees will be impacted as we will be running with skeleton crews during this period,” Kursman noted.
“Employees will be allowed to schedule vacation, which reduces in many cases the personal impact.”
This temporary downtime impacts approximately 6,000 metric tons of pulp production and 19,000 metric tons of paper production.