Resolute Forest Products Inc., Montreal, has announced that it will permanently close a paper machine at its mill in Alma, Quebec. The shutdown, slated to occur by early April 2015, represents a reduction of 75,000 metric tons of annual specialty papers production capacity. The mill, which has three paper machines, has a total annual capacity of 350,000 metric tons.
In deciding to permanently close one of its machines, Resolute points to market weakness for the specialty paper grades, along with high fiber costs as the key reason for the closure.
The company also cited what it calls a “misinformation” campaign by Greenpeace and other environmental groups for the closing. “Greenpeace’s ill-founded attacks misrepresent the company’s forest management practices and cast unwarranted doubt on Resolute’s compliance with Quebec’s Loi sur l’aménagement durable du territoire forestier (Quebec’s Sustainable Forest Act) and our sustainability leadership. Quebec’s forest management regime is among the best in the world, and the government ensures strict compliance. The regime deserves to be respected and upheld, and we are calling upon the Quebec government to continue to defend its standards and to refute these unjustified and unfounded attacks,” says Richard Garneau, Resolute’s president and chief executive officer.
Garneau adds, “These misinformation campaigns impact Resolute and people’s lives, as they further destabilize the industry, triggering socioeconomic consequences for the communities that depend on the boreal forest for their livelihood.”