Resolute to shut down production at Fort Frances


Resolute Forest Products will close the doors of its Canadian Fort Frances mill and take 200,000 t of pulp and 105,000 t of commercial printing paper from the market. However, the company considers alternatives to pulp production at the site.

Resolute Forest Products will stop producing pulp and commercial printing paper at its Fort Frances mill in Ontario. The company announced its intention to indefinitely idle the pulp mill as well as the PM 5. Approximately 239 employees will be affected by the closure. As regards the pulp mill, however, Resolute said it was exploring alternative production possibilities adding that the equipment would be protected. The shutdown is expected to be completed by the end of November.

The Fort Frances mill has an annual capacity of 200,000 t of market pulp and 105,000 t of groundwood specialty printing papers. Resolute explained that the markets for these products were challenging and an improvement was not in sight. "The pulp mill situation is particularly difficult given Fort Frances' operating configuration and the recent decision by a key customer to stop consuming the pulp supplied by Resolute to its mill," said Richard Garneau, Resolute's President and CEO.

The shutdown of PM 5 is said to be driven by the decrease in consumption as well as the high value of the Canadian dollar.

Resolute will implement further capacity reductions at the end of November. The company recently announced the shutdown of the PM 10 at its Laurentide mill in Quebec, which has an annual capacity of 125,000 t of commercial printing paper, as a result of shrinking demand, amongst others. This measure is intended to help the company reduce costs and restore profitability.

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