Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, 20 January 2009 -- Catalyst Paper announced today that, to match production with orders, it will take curtailments at its Crofton and Elk Falls mills in British Columbia, Canada, and at its mill in Snowflake, Arizona, USA. This will remove 55,000 tonnes of newsprint from production in the first quarter.
The Crofton No. 1 paper machine, which produces 140,000 metric tons of newsprint annually, will be idled on 01 February and will remain shut down until market conditions improve, with layoffs affecting approximately 50 employees. Curtailments at the Elk Falls and Snowflake mills will vary in duration and will be aligned with order requirements.
“The slowdown in newspaper advertising, along with restructuring by publishers in key paper markets is unprecedented, and conditions are expected to remain very challenging in the foreseeable future,” said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer.
In a related move that reflects weaker pulp markets, the Crofton kraft pulp mill will add to a planned maintenance shut, with market-related downtime, bringing the total curtailment to 35 days and removing 38,000 metric tons of market pulp from production in the first quarter.
As a result of weaker paper markets in the fourth quarter of 2008, Catalyst took curtailments that removed 73,000 metric tons of newsprint, 27,000 metric tons of specialty printing papers, and 72,000 metric tons of pulp from production.
Catalyst is the largest producer of specialty printing papers and newsprint in western North America. The company also produces market kraft pulp and owns western Canada’s largest paper recycling facility. The company’s six mills have a combined annual capacity of 2.4 million metric tons. Catalyst is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, and its common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CTL.