Resolute Forest Products to take market downtime soon at two mills; LWC paper machine at Catawba, South Carolina, mill going down June 30, company will lose 4,600 tonnes at Coosa Pines, Alabama, fluff pulp mill

LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2012 () – Resolute Forest Products plans to take market-related downtime at its mills in Catawba, South Carolina, and Coosa Pines, Alabama, a company spokesperson confirmed.

In Catawba, its 125,000 tonnes per year PM No. 1, which produces lightweight coated (LWC) groundwood paper, will go down at 6 a.m. on June 30. At this point, the company isn’t stating a specific length of time for the closure and it isn’t saying it is indefinitely idled. (An outside source said production is being shifted to other machines at the mill.) PM No. 1 is the smallest of the three paper machines at the mill.

Total pulp and paper capacity at Catawba, which also has a pulp drier, is 865,000 tonnes/year.

In addition, Resolute plans to take down its 272,000 tonnes/year Coosa Pines fluff pulp mill in the first week of July, losing 4,600 tonnes.

On June 15, Fibrek Inc., which is being acquired by Resolute, announced that, starting on June 23, it plans to take a 12-day market shut at its 375,000 tonnes/year northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) mill in Saint-Félicien, Québec. The downtime, aimed at helping to control inventory, will affect about 12,000 tonnes of output. In the current price cycle, this was the first formal announcement by a North American pulp producer of market-related downtime.

Resolute Forest Products, which is in the process of acquiring Fibrek, has announced market downtime at various mills over the months, as its management holds to its commitment to match production to demand.

Also on June 15, Resolute announced that it is indefinitely idling its Mersey newsprint mill in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia.

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