MONTREAL—AbitibiBowater will invest up to $17-million for reconfiguration and capital spending to improve overall product quality at its Iroquois Falls, Ont. Paper mill.
The plan will result the loss of about 60 jobs, but the company expects early retirement will mitigate some of the layoffs.
Investment in its thermo-mechanical pulp mill and on paper machine number 8—the larger of the mill’s two machines—will fund the installation of additional pulp cleaning and improved wet-end formation and newsprint quality.
Chip receiving and chip handling capacity will also be increased to handle 100 per cent externally-supplied chips and force the phase-out of its woodyard and woodroom.
The increase in chip receiving and handling capability and the closure of the woodroom and wood yard are expected in the first half of 2012.
“In addition to improving mill economics, the conversion to 100 per cent externally-supplied chips will also provide an outlet for chip residuals from sawmills on the Highway 11 corridor. This will be particularly important as markets for Ontario lumber recover,” said Michel Maillé, vice-president of pulp and paper operations.
“While market and economic conditions remain challenging, the company will invest where there is a good resource base, a strong workforce and a receptive investment climate,” said CEO and president Richard Garneau. “The investments announced today reflect our view that the Iroquois Falls mill and its employees are worthy of our confidence and that Ontario is a good place to invest.”.
Montreal-based AbitibiBowater is a global forest products company producing newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products from 18 pulp and paper mills and 24 wood products facilities in the U.S., Canada and South Korea.