13 August 2009
AbitibiBowater, Kruger announce temporary shut downs
NATIONAL—A rising loonie and falling demand for newsprint has led insolvent paper giant AbitibiBowater to shut down several mills across the country in an attempt to reduce annual capacity by one million tonnes.

AbitibiBowater, North America’s leading newsprint producer which has been operating under creditor protection since April and recently announced second quarter losses of US$510 million, closed its plant in Thorold, Ont. (near St. Catharines) earlier this week, with plans to re-open Aug. 17. About 300 people are employed at the plant. The mill was also closed in May.

The company’s plant in Liverpool, N.S., will also close for six weeks beginning at the end of August, affecting another 300 workers. The closure there will be the fourth since Christmas. It has also indefinitely suspended production on two paper machines in Thunder Bay, Ont., and recently laid off about 400 head office workers in Montreal.

AbitibiBowater isn’t the only paper company suffering these days. Montreal-based Kruger Inc. recently announced that it is pulling 26,500 tonnes of newsprint, 7,500 tonnes of coated paper, 4,500 tonnes of super-calendered paper and 2,000 tonnes of directory paper from the market by shuttering plants in Sherbrooke, Trois Rivieres and Wayagamack for two-to-three weeks periods in August and September. In total, 880 workers total will be affected by the closures.
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