AbitibiBowater Cuts Jobs, Production

Will close facilities in Tennessee, Newfoundland, Labrador

North American newsprint company AbitibiBowater said on Dec. 4 it was closing several facilities and slashing 1,100 jobs in a bid to cope with tough economic times.

The Montreal-based paper company said it planned to permanently close its newsprint mill in Grand Falls in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a paper converting facility in Covington, Tennessee.

It will also immediately suspend production of its Alabama River newsprint mill, in Alabama, and of two paper machines in Calhoun, Tenn., resulting in a total production cutback of one million tons.

The company said the moves were to address "ongoing volatility in exchange rates, energy and fiber pricing, as well as structural challenges in the North American newsprint industry."

The North American market continues to contract, AbitibiBowater chief executive officer David Paterson said. "International customers have also indicated that export growth will not be as strong in the coming year."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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