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Tembec Disputes Reduction in Timber Supply
Temiscaming, Quebec, Canada, 05 March 2009 – Tembec today expressed extreme disappointment with the decision by the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources to transfer CAAF volume previously consumed by the Optibois sawmill to Matériaux Blanchet. The decision granting a transfer of CAAF previously held by the Optibois sawmill in Abitibi-Témiscamingue for sawtimber that has traditionally been consumed in the immediate Senneterre area represents another blow to the area’s fiber supply.

This decision is expected to have a direct impact on the level of operations for Tembec’s Senneterre sawmill and occurred despite several meetings between the company and the Ministry. The Tembec mill had suffered a 50% reduction as a result of the annual allowable cut (AAC) recalculation in the Paix des Braves territory.

“Relative to other users in the region, Tembec’s Senneterre mill suffered a disproportionate reduction in fiber supply as a result of the AAC recalculation process that occurred in 2008 and subsequent reallocations to other producers. This site has been the most affected by this review and reallocation process, and has certainly fared worse than other mills in Abitibi-Témiscamingue,” said Michel Bastien, vice president, Forest Products Group - Quebec Region.

“The Optibois volume offered a partial solution to the fiber supply challenge facing the mill. The effect of the earlier reallocations means that the site has roughly 50% of the fiber it requires. This reduced availability, along with this most recent transfer decision, will have a direct impact on our mill’s viability and its ability to operate, as well as on our 260 employees,” Bastien said. 

Tembec continues to raise the issue with senior officials of the Ministry and further meetings are scheduled. “We must continue to pursue an outcome that will result in fair treatment for the company, our employees and the region,” concluded Bastien.

Tembec is a large, diversified and integrated forest products company which stands as the global leader in sustainable forest management practices. With operations principally located in North America and in France, the company employs approximately 7000 people. Tembec’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TMB and warrants under TMB.WT. Additional information on Tembec is available on its Web site at www.tembec.com.

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