MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Resolute Forest Products (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced plans to build an industrial wood pellet plant that will convert a currently underutilized residual material into a reliable source of renewable energy. Construction of the plant is expected to begin shortly and is scheduled for completion in 2014. The Company has signed a ten-year agreement to supply Ontario Power Generation with 45,000 metric tons of pellets annually.
The plant will be built adjacent to the Company's sawmill in Thunder Bay, Ontario, creating approximately 24 new jobs when fully operational and improving the long-term viability of the sawmill and the approximately 350 jobs that it supports.
"Wood pellets are a clean, renewable energy source, and together with other biofuel opportunities, a natural diversification target for Resolute," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "This project provides the opportunity to enhance the use of our existing asset base to produce biofuel for a strategic, committed consumer and allows the Company to gain valuable manufacturing experience in commercial biomass production."
Resolute will invest approximately C$10 million in the construction of the plant, adding to the investments of approximately C$120 million the Company has announced for its Ontario operations since 2011.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The Company owns or operates 22 pulp and paper mills and 22 wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea. Marketing its products in close to 80 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to 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 and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic. Resolute is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, in which businesses establish ambitious targets to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work aggressively toward achieving them.
SOURCE: RESOLUTE FOREST PRODUCTS INC.
Rémi G. Lalonde
Vice President, Investor Relations
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Vice President, Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Government Affairs