Miamisburg, Ohio, USA, 22 August 2011 -- PRNewswire -- NewPage Corporation today announced that, based on its assessment of current market and economic conditions, it has decided to take downtime on both paper machines at its Port Hawkesbury mill in Nova Scotia, Canada. The downtime will begin 10 September for the mill's PM1 newsprint machine and 16 September for the PM2 supercalendered machine. NewPage will provide future updates on the mill based on an ongoing review of the situation and economic conditions during the anticipated downtime.
The decision was based on a combination of factors, including unfavorable exchange rates between the U.S. and Canadian dollars and high utility and shipping costs, which have rendered its Port Hawkesbury mill operations unprofitable for more than a year.
The company is announcing its decision now to mitigate the potential impact on customers and already has taken into consideration the planned downtime for future scheduling. NewPage expects to fulfill certain pre-existing orders for its supercalendered papers from its mill in Duluth, Minnesota, but does not produce newsprint from any other mill location and therefore will be unable to serve these customers during the downtime.
"Despite the continued dedication and efforts of our team at Port Hawkesbury to drive cost improvements, extremely challenging economic conditions at this location have forced us to make this difficult, but necessary business decision," said George Martin, president and chief executive officer for NewPage.
According to Mark Lukacs, senior vice president, Operations for NewPage, "The Port Hawkesbury mill makes great newsprint, improved newsprint, and supercalendered paper for the printing and publishing industries. We have a very dedicated and talented workforce and this downtime is in no way a reflection on them."
Headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, NewPage Corporation is the leading producer of printing and specialty papers in North America, based on production capacity, with USD 3.6 billion in net sales for the year ended 31 December 2010. The company's product portfolio is the broadest in North America and includes coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered, newsprint and specialty papers. NewPage owns paper mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin in the United States, and in and Nova Scotia, Canada. These mills have a total annual production capacity of approximately 4.1 million tons of paper, including approximately 2.9 million tons of coated paper, approximately 1.0 million tons of uncoated paper, and approximately 200,000 tons of specialty paper. To learn more about NewPage Corporation, visit www.NewPageCorp.com.