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Management Side
UPM Miramichi Running Well and Looking to the Future
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Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada, 01 June 2006 -- /PRNewswire/ -- UPM Miramichi's two paper machines are humming as employees push hard toward productivity targets and good quality tons out the door.

"Everyone is focused on making the Miramichi mill the best it can be and a valued operation within UPM's global family," said Bernd Eikens, UPM president for North America, on a visit this week to the eastern Canadian facility.
Mill manager Timo Suutarla said Miramichi's start-up in May after a three- month shutdown has gone well. "Both PM1 and PM2 are progressing very well towards target production numbers and we're pleased with the level of quality being achieved in a safe manner on both machines," he said.

The Miramichi mill took a three-month shutdown in the first quarter 2006. Going into the shutdown, UPM's head office in Helsinki, Finland, told Miramichi it must make a step change to profitability by the end of this year, following years of losses. Major restructuring of the operation in 2004-2005 was a crucial start toward turning that corner. Then, Miramichi used its recent downtime to put the mill in the best position possible going forward.

"We resumed production in May with reduced fixed and variable cost base to make Miramichi competitive and successful," said Suutarla. "Furthermore, this plan was compiled with joint effort of all employees and the New Brunswick government. Implementation of the plan has gotten a kick start, because everyone is committed and working together to make it happen."

Eikens was positive, following his visit this week to the Miramichi mill. "There is a new, shared vision and commitment at Miramichi," he said. "You can see it and feel it when you walk through the paper mill and groundwood mill. Miramichi got off to a strong start in May, and we're optimistic."

UPM views the Miramichi mill as being in a far better position now than in many years. With serious efforts to implement its long-term plan, the company says Miramichi has realistic possibilities to turn profitable again and to maintain the important role of serving the North American customer base as a local mill.

Source: UPM Miramichi


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