Elk Falls Paper Machine Curtailment Extended Through Q1
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 26 November 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Catalyst Paper's Elk Falls mill at Campbell River continues to be affected by the lingering effects of the coastal fiber strike and the deteriorating U.S. lumber market. These factors have combined to slow the restart of coastal sawmills and constrain fiber supply.
As a result, the Elk Falls No. 1 paper machine, which was curtailed in September due to the strike-related fiber shortage, will remain down for the first quarter of 2008. This will reduce the company's newsprint production by 38,000 metric tons to the end of March.
"Based on current fiber availability, it will take a few months yet to rebuild and stabilize our fiber inventories," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer. "Forty two per cent of our supply was affected by the coastal strike, and we have worked hard to optimize our fiber supply in order to limit the production capacity impact to 14% to date."
In addition to the curtailment of the No. 1 paper machine, much of the Elk Falls mill will take down time through the Christmas period, affecting some 600 employees. The kraft and containerboard operations will take 18 days of curtailment from 16 December 2007 to 02 January 2008. Fiber availability will dictate whether additional downtime is required in the first quarter. PM2 and PM5 will be curtailed beginning 23 December 2007. PM2 is expected to restart on 02 January and PM5 is expected to restart on 06 January 2008.
In total, Catalyst expects to lose 100,000 metric tons of production in the fourth quarter, mostly in newsprint, and 30% in pulp and containerboard.
Catalyst is a leading producer of mechanical printing papers in North America, headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia. The company also produces market kraft pulp and owns western Canada's largest paper recycling facility. With five mills at sites within a 160-km radius on the south coast of British Columbia, Catalyst has a combined annual capacity of 2.4 million metric tons of product. Catalyst's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CTL.
Source: Catalyst Paper Corporation