FORT FRANCES, ON - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced the permanent closure of its previously idled pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances, Ontario.
The company announced an extended period of market-related outage on its remaining paper machine in January. The kraft pulp mill and another paper machine have been idled since November of 2012.
"We tried hard to find a way to reposition these assets, particularly the pulp mill. But unfortunately, due to end product markets, the mill's operational configuration and its cost position, we've concluded that there was no economically viable option for the pulp and paper operations at Fort Frances," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer.
The company will provide appropriate notice to staff who were retained to manage the idled facility. Resolute will also work with affected employees, all levels of government and other local authorities on programs to lessen the impact of this permanent closure. Affected employees will be considered for job vacancies and opportunities at other company facilities.
Resolute is currently exploring opportunities to continue to operate the biomass boiler and electricity-producing steam turbine. The company is also progressing on three important investment initiatives underway in Northwestern Ontario: the construction of a new sawmill in Atikokan; the upgrade and restart of the idled Ignace sawmill; and the construction of a wood pellet plant at the Thunder Bay sawmill.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. The company owns or operates over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally recognized 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.
SOURCE: Resolute Forest Products Inc.
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