Catalyst closes recycle mill in Arizona

Flagging newsprint demand, price volatility and higher freight costs cited.

July 31, 2012   by CANADIAN PRESS

RICHMOND, BC: Pulp and paper producer Catalyst Paper is permanently closing its Snowflake recycle mill in northeastern Arizona and its subsidiary, the Apache Railway Co.

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

The Richmond, BC-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.

The company said 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 BC 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.

© 2012 The Canadian Press

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