MONTREAL, Oct. 25, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced $40 million in investments at its Northwestern Ontario operations, in addition to $13.5 million in major maintenance and the creation of 25 new jobs. The announcement was made at a press conference in Thunder Bay attended by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Jeff Yurek, and many dignitaries and company employees.
"Resolute has a strong operating presence in the region, and we are committed to investing in our facilities to ensure their profitability and long-term competitiveness," stated Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. "A secure fiber supply and sustainable business environment remain critical to future investments in the province."
The investment plan includes $14.7 million for the company's Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as $14.3 million to improve pulp capacity, reduce costs and maintain assets. Resolute also expects to spend $13.5 million in major maintenance at the facility in 2018.
An additional $5.6 million is earmarked for the modernization of the planer line at the company's Thunder Bay sawmill, located on Fort William First Nation land, as well as $5.4 million to optimize its Atikokan, Ignace and Thunder Bay sawmills. These initiatives are expected to increase the annual production capacity of the facilities by a combined 50 million board feet of lumber. Twenty-five full-time jobs have been created.
"Ontario's forestry sector is a very important part of our economy, it is one of the largest employers in the province. A strong forestry sector is essential for our prosperity, and it has a significant impact on the people living in rural and Northern Ontario," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. "It is because of productive partnerships like ours with Resolute that the sector continues to thrive, and we will continue working to create more opportunities for the people of Ontario."
"Today is a great day for Resolute, and for the future of Ontario's forestry sector," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "This investment not only emphasizes the opportunities in this sector, but the real need for a Provincial Forestry Strategy — and we are developing just that. I am confident we can grow our economy, create new jobs and encourage more investments across the province."
"The Fort William/Resolute sawmill partnership is a model of how an Indigenous community and a business can work together to create long-term benefits for both parties," stated Peter Collins, Chief of Fort William First Nation. "We had a vision and invested together to create a cornerstone business on our community lands."
Close to 90% of the new lumber and pulp capacity is destined for export markets. More than half of project expenditures are slated for the last quarter of 2018.
Resolute employs close to 900 workers across its Northwestern Ontario pulp, paper, wood products and woodlands operations. The company has invested approximately $200 million in the region over the past several years.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Statements in this press release that are not financial results or other historical information are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include, for example, statements regarding the investments in the Northwestern Ontario operations and the expected benefits of the investments. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as the words "should," "would," "could," "will," "may," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "attempt," "project" and other terms with similar meaning indicating possible future events or potential impact on our business or our shareholders.
The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not guarantees of future performance. These statements are based on management's current assumptions, beliefs and expectations, all of which involve a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause the company's actual future financial condition, results of operations and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release include, but are not limited to, any inability to achieve or maintain the expected benefits of the investments in the Northwestern Ontario operations, and the potential risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017.
All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by the cautionary statements set out above and in the company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The company disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information or future events, except as required by law.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products, newsprint and specialty papers, which are marketed in close to 70 countries. The company owns or operates some 40 manufacturing facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada. Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute has received regional, North American and global recognition for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, as well as for its business practices. Visit www.resolutefp.com for more information.
SOURCE Resolute Forest Products Inc.