MONTREAL, March 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. today
announced an investment of $84.3 million in a new biomass energy generator to
be located at its Fort Frances, Ontario pulp and paper mill. Construction is
scheduled to begin in the summer of 2007, and the generator is anticipated to
be in operation during the fall of 2008.
The equipment will use renewable, cost-effective fuel from wood waste to
generate steam and 45.5 MW of electricity for the mill. The new biomass boiler
will burn mill-generated wood waste and primary sludge, as well as harvest
slash from woodlands operations and wood waste from area sawmills.
"The new equipment will be instrumental in our strategy to reduce our
energy costs and improve the overall competitiveness of the mill," said Alain
Grandmont, Senior Vice-President, Commercial Printing Papers. "With this
boiler, the mill will be less dependent in the future on market energy pricing
and better equipped to compete in the fiercely competitive global
marketplace," added Grandmont.
The project has received solid support from mill employees and unions,
along with the Ontario Government and the local municipality of Fort Frances.
In January 2007, Abitibi-Consolidated and local unions agreed to contract
extensions, which will provide the Company with labour stability. "This
agreement will enable us to deliver on the full potential of the mill and
position it among the best in terms of safety, environmental performance,
customer satisfaction, productivity and financial measures," said Doug Murray,
Northwestern Ontario Regional Manager.
The Government of Ontario provided a significant contribution to the
project through the Forest Sector Prosperity Fund. The municipality of Fort
Frances provided great support at every phase of the project, notably
facilitating the necessary zoning changes. "A collaborative spirit made this
project a reality and so very much reflects the shared commitment of all
stakeholders. This simply would not have been possible without everyone's
extra efforts and support," concluded Alain Grandmont.
The Fort Frances mill annually produces 285,000 tonnes of commercial
printing papers and 116,000 tonnes of market kraft pulp. The mill employs
650 people, while 350 individuals are contracted for its woodlands operations.
Abitibi-Consolidated is a global leader in newsprint and commercial
printing papers as well as a major producer of wood products, serving clients
in some 70 countries from its 45 operating facilities. Abitibi-Consolidated is
among the largest recyclers of newspapers and magazines in North America,
diverting annually approximately 1.9 million tonnes of waste paper from
landfills. It also ranks first in Canada in terms of total certified
woodlands. Abitibi-Consolidated shares are traded on the Toronto Stock
Exchange (TSX: A) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ABY).
For further information:
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