Mill shutting down over holidays

Due to a shortfall of orders, as well as a surplus of kraft inventory, the Abitibi-Consolidated pulp and paper mill here will have a cold shutdown for two weeks next month.
Mill general manager John Harrison said it was confirmed Wednesday that the No. 6 paper machine will be shut down from Dec. 18-Jan. 2 while Nos. 5 and 7 will do so from Dec. 24-Jan. 2.
The kraft mill will be shut down from Dec. 18-Jan. 2.
Harrison noted Fort Frances is the only Abitibi-Consolidated mill to be taking extended downtown over the Christmas holidays.
“As a company, we’re short on orders for the grades that we make here,” he said. “And we’re the high-cost producer right now. The downtime goes to the high-cost producer.”
Harrison added the reason for the kraft mill downtime is that the mill here has 10,000 metric tons of flash dried kraft in its inventory.
“In addition to supplying kraft to Fort Frances and kraft to the Boise mill [in International Falls], we have a flash drier that lets us take kraft and make it into bale form that we can ship,” he explained.
“We supply our sister mill in Quebec, and we supply some pulp down to mills in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area.”
“We’ve built up about a 10,000-ton inventory of that pulp,” said Harrison. “That’s quite a bit and we’d like to try and run that inventory down, which is why we’re going to have the kraft mill down while we’re still running two of the machines—so we can run some of that inventory off.”
Harrison noted the scheduled shutdown is a “cold” one, meaning none of the 740 personnel (wood staff, mill staff, office staff, operators, or tradesmen) in any department of the mill will be doing anything there for at least one week, if not two.
He added some staff are booking vacation time during the shutdown.