MONTREAL, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Resolute Forest Products (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) announced two major investments today, totaling C$11 million, at its Comtois sawmill in Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Quebec, and its Senneterre, Quebec, sawmill.
At the Comtois sawmill, $9 million will be invested in the construction of a new saw line. This equipment will enhance the sawmill's performance by increasing the volume of lumber produced and reducing fiber loss. The $2 million investment at the Senneterre sawmill will improve the performance of the planing complex.
Yves Laflamme, Senior Vice President, Wood Products, said that these investments will reinforce the Company's competitiveness, which is essential to maintaining jobs in the northern Québec and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions."After several difficult years, we believe that these investments will put us in a good position to benefit from a turnaround in residential construction in the United States. The upgrades will consolidate our activities in both regions by creating synergies, stabilizing our operations and preserving good jobs. The investments will make our two facilities more competitive and boost their performance. We are all the more pleased and proud because today's announcement will generate substantial economic spinoffs in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and northern Quebec," he added. Given the market outlook for lumber, Resolute Forest Products plans to focus on wood products. In this regard, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Garneau reiterated "the Company's ongoing commitment to be a sound, strong, profitable organization that produces top-quality products and supports sustainable development." He also repeated Resolute's intention to lay the foundations for its development and growth by investing in competitive assets and promising markets in order to contribute to the organization's overall profitability. Once the work is completed in the second quarter of 2013, the Company will be well equipped to reduce its conversion costs and improve product quality. Its competitive position in northern Quebec and Abitibi-Témiscamingue will be stronger, and the investments will generate positive economic spinoffs in both regions. 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.