Resolute to indefinitely idle Mersey newsprint mill


Bowater Mersey paper mill will be idled as of Sunday, 17 June. Resolute Forest Products mulls divestment of all its assets in Nova Scotia, including the paper mill, its private timberlands, Oakhill sawmill and Brooklyn Power.

Resolute Forest Products says it will halt production at the Bowater Mersey paper mill in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, for an indefinite period of time. The company cites unfavourable currency movements making Bowater Mersey products less competitive in the export markets. Approximately 320 employees at the Mersey paper mill, associated woodlands, Oakhill sawmill and Brooklyn Power Corporation will be affected by the shutdown, the company explained.

Bowater Mersey Paper Company is a 51/49 joint venture between Resolute and the Washington Post Company. The Mersey mill runs two machines with a total capacity of 250,000 tpy of newsprint. "The mill produces newsprint primarily for export markets and is unable to compete due to declining prices in those markets, caused mainly by unfavourable currency fluctuations," said the company's President Richard Garneau in a news release.

Resolute eyes sale of all its assets in Nova Scotia

Resolute Forest Products considers leaving Nova Scotia and is currently assessing the feasibility of selling all of its assets in the province, including the Mersey paper mill, its private timberlands, Oakhill sawmill and the 21 MW Brooklyn Power co-generation facility.

In December last year, the government of Nova Scotia offered Resolute a CAD50m rescue package to secure operations at Bowater Mersey over the next five years and protect about 2,000 direct and affiliated jobs. Half of that money was supposed to go towards a long-fibre refining project to reduce electricity consumption at the mill. The loan was also to be used to increase renewable electricity capacities at the Brooklyn Power plant.

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