Montreal, Quebec, Canada 05 March 2015 -- /CNW Telbec/ -- Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced the permanent closure of paper machine #9 at its mill in Alma (Quebec), representing a reduction of 75,000 metric tons of annual specialty papers production capacity.
Resolute's decision to reduce specialty papers production capacity is driven by market weakness, exacerbated by fiber cost issues in Quebec, as well as ongoing misinformation campaigns by Greenpeace and other environmental activist groups.
"Greenpeace's ill-founded attacks misrepresent the company's forest management practices and cast unwarranted doubt on Resolute's compliance with Quebec's Loi sur l'aménagement durable du territoire forestier and our sustainability leadership. Quebec's forest management regime is among the best in the world, and the government ensures strict compliance. The regime deserves to be respected and upheld, and we are calling upon the Quebec government to continue to defend its standards and to refute these unjustified and unfounded attacks," stated Richard Garneau, Resolute's president and chief executive officer.
"These misinformation campaigns impact Resolute and people's lives, as they further destabilize the industry, triggering socioeconomic consequences for the communities that depend on the boreal forest for their livelihood," added Garneau.
The Alma paper mill employs approximately 340 people and has an annual production capacity of 350,000 metric tons of specialty papers across three machines. Machine #9 will be permanently closed at the beginning of April, resulting in the elimination of about 85 jobs and the permanent reduction of some 75,000 metric tons of production capacity.
Resolute understands the impact this decision will have on employees, their families and the local community. The company will work with union representatives and government officials to respond to the needs of affected employees. Local management will also ensure that each employee receives support, that the relevant conditions in the collective agreements are respected, and that as many employees as possible are transferred to other company facilities.
"The decision to rationalize our paper production capacity in Alma was a difficult one to make, as we are mindful of the impact it will have on the affected employees," added Richard Garneau. "Resolute remains committed to customer service and to the delivery of high-quality products, and will work closely with customers to continue to meet their needs," concluded Garneau.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. The company owns or operates some 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 80 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic.
Resolute is proud to be ranked by Corporate Knights as one of Canada's Best 50 Corporate Citizens for 2014. In addition, the company and Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer, have been named to Canada's Clean50. And in January 2015, Resolute was awarded The New Economy magazine's global Clean Tech Award for best forestry and paper solutions.
SOURCE Resolute Forest Products Inc.