December 4, 2008

AbitibiBowater closing two paper mills

Paper manufacturer AbitibiBowater announced Thursday it will close paper mills in Newfoundland, Canada, and Covington, Tenn., eliminating 1,100 jobs.

In a statement issued from its headquarters in Montreal, the company said the mill in Tennessee would be closed by the end of the year and the Newfoundland plant would wind down during the first quarter of 2009.

The company also announced the immediate idling, until further notice, of the Alabama River newsprint mill in Alabama, and two paper machines in Calhoun, Tenn.

Idlings of machines at Calhoun and the Alabama River newsprint mill reflect softening markets for the products produced at these facilities and the non-competitive cost structure of southern U.S. electrical suppliers, the statement said.

On Nov. 7 at the Newfoundland mill, 88 percent of Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union members voted to reject a company offer that would have meant some layoffs, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.