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Abitibi-Consolidated Idles Fort William, Ontario, Paper Mill
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 20 February 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Abitibi-Consolidated announced today that effective 25 February 2007, its Fort William paper mill located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, will be idled for an indefinite period. The mill has an annual production capacity of approximately 145,000 metric tons of commercial printing papers. The idling will affect approximately 265 employees at the mill and an additional 88 employees associated with the woodlands operations.

"In spite of the efforts of our people to identify and implement opportunities for cost reductions, current market conditions, combined with high production costs, have led to this difficult but necessary action. We regret the impact of today's announcement on our employees, their families and the community," said Alain Grandmont, senior vice president, Commercial Printing Papers.

The Fort William mill has experienced frequent market-related shutdowns over the past six months. The mill was on the company's in-depth review list in 2005 and a subsequent effort was made to sell the facility.

The Fort William employees, union representatives, and local community leaders were informed today of the decision. "We will continue to monitor the market to determine when or if production can resume at the mill," added Grandmont.

Abitibi-Consolidated is a global leader in newsprint and commercial printing papers as well as a major producer of wood products, serving clients in some 70 countries from its 45 operating facilities. Abitibi-Consolidated is among the largest recyclers of newspapers and magazines in North America, diverting annually approximately 1.9 million metric tons of waste paper from landfills. It also ranks first in Canada in terms of total certified woodlands. Abitibi-Consolidated shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: A) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:ABY)

Source: Abitibi-Consolidated INC.


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