MONTREAL, Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Resolute Forest Products (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) announced today that it is permanently shutting down paper machine # 10 at its Laurentide mill in Shawinigan, Quebec. The permanent shutdown comes after an important drop in demand and an increase in market capacity of the paper grade produced on machine # 10.
The Laurentide mill, which currently has 388 employees, produces over 350,000 metric tons per year of commercial printing papers with two machines. Machine # 10 produces 125,000 metric tons per year. This machine will cease production on November 26, eliminating nearly 111 jobs. The shutdown will not affect paper machine # 11, which has an annual production of nearly 225,000 metric tons per year.
The Company is aware of the impacts this decision will have on the employees concerned and their families and will work with union representatives and the governments to mitigate these impacts with a focus on retirement. Management intends to make sure that all the employees affected receive the necessary support, in compliance with the relevant collective agreement terms, and that as many employees as possible are reassigned to other Company facilities.
Resolute President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Garneau noted that market demand and capacity, the strong Canadian dollar, rising freight and fuel costs, and the continuing high cost of fiber also factored into management's decision. "Resolute must prove that it is profitable with mills that perform well, which forces us to improve our competitive edge by focusing on our best assets and cutting costs," stated Richard Garneau. "This is a major challenge and we are confident that we, with our employees, will be able to meet it."About Resolute Forest Products Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The Company owns or operates 22 pulp and paper mills and 22 wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea. Marketing its products in more than 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Resolute and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic. Resolute is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, in which businesses establish ambitious targets to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work aggressively toward achieving them. SOURCE RESOLUTE FOREST PRODUCTS INC.