Catalyst Paper to close Snowflake recycle mill in Arizona, 308 workers affected | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Catalyst Paper to close Snowflake recycle mill in Arizona, 308 workers affected

July 31, 2012 - 3:53 AM

RICHMOND, B.C. - Pulp and paper producer Catalyst Paper has announced the permanent closure of its Snowflake recycle mill in northeastern Arizona and its subsidiary, the Apache Railway Company.

The move will put 308 workers out of a job after production at the operations shuts down on Sept. 30.

The Richmond, B.C.-based company cited flagging demand for newsprint, price volatility and higher freight costs as reasons for the closure.

Catalyst had filed for court protection from creditors earlier this year after some workers and bondholders rejected its plan for restructuring debt and cutting costs.

Catalyst said late Monday that its executives were meeting with employees and union representatives to outline the closure plan at the Arizona mill. It said it will also be working closely with suppliers, customers and regulators as operations wind down.

The site of the mill will then be prepared for sale and repurposing.

Catalyst manufactures diverse specialty mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp and sells to retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe.

The company has three mills in British Columbia in addition to the one it is set to shut down in Arizona.

The closure of the Arizona mill is not expected to have any impact on operations at Catalyst's other mills.

"The decision to close Snowflake is an extraordinarily difficult one given the exceptional effort that employees, unions and public officials have given to address the unique challenges at this mill," Catalyst president and CEO Kevin J. Clarke said in a statement.

"We understand and regret the difficult impact within the Snowflake community and surrounding region created by closure of the mill. I want to acknowledge and thank all who have given us their unwavering support and co-operation. There were no stones left unturned."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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