Newsprint

Resolute might permanently idle newsprint production at Baie-Comeau and Amos mills

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Two of Resolute Forest Products’ newsprint mills in Canada have been down for almost one year now. The company is currently reviewing options for the sites. It is considered unlikely that newsprint production will restart. The mills of Baie-Comeau and Amos have not resumed operation yet, but neither has Resolute announced their permanent closure.

However, Resolute’s wording in talks with local media was pessimistic in this regard, with the company considering it unlikely that the Baie-Comeau and Amos mills will continue to produce newsprint.  Policymakers and trade unions also rather hint at a sale or a rebuild as potential solutions for the mill, while resuming production in the original form is not talked about.

Resolute declined to confirm plans for a potential rebuild to make other paper grades at this time.  «A committee was formed to review different solutions for resuming Baie-Comeau.  The results are not yet available,» a spokesman said.

Resolute suspended the Baie-Comeau and Amos mills in Québec last spring because of weak demand and withdrew large parts of its newsprint output from the market with this move. The ongoing structural decline on the newsprint market was amplified by the coronavirus crisis. The sites can produce 322,000 tpy and 194,000 tpy of newsprint respectively, representing 40 per cent of Resolute’s entire newsprint production of 1.3 million tons spread over six mills.