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Resolute Forest Products indefinitely idling pulp and paper operations at U.S. mill

Canadian Press - Thu Dec 16, 2021
Cedar planks are stacked at a lumber yard in Montreal, Tuesday, April 25, 2017.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL — Resolute Forest Products Inc. is indefinitely idling its pulp and paper operations at its mill in Calhoun, Tenn., affecting 350 employees.

Tissue manufacturing and converting will continue at the site and the adjacent distribution centre will remain in full operation.

The Montreal-based company says the mill lost US$62 million over the 12 months ending Sept. 30 despite strong market conditions for pulp and uncoated freesheet paper.

Resolute says pulp and paper operations will continue for up to 60 days to ensure an orderly shutdown, to accommodate environmental safeguards and to transition customers.

The facility, which employs 545 people, has an annual capacity of 147,000 tonnes of pulp and 149,000 tonness of paper as well as 60,000 tonnes of tissue.

It expects the move once completed will improve its overall operating income by US$35 million to US$40 million.

Resolute expects to record US$135 million in non-cash impairment and accelerated depreciation charges as well as a US$32-million asset writedown in the fourth quarter.

It also estimates about US$45 million in cash closure costs next year, mainly related to decommissioning, severance and other termination benefits and other costs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RFP)