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New Sawmill to Employ 90 in Atikokan, Ont.

Posted at: 01/31/2013 11:18 AM

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Resolute Forest Products has announced plans to construct a new sawmill in the area of Atikokan, Ont., creating about 90 jobs.

The company, formerly known as AbitibiBowater, announced the plans Thursday, saying it will make a final site selection in the next few weeks.  Construction is expected to begin in the spring, with completion targetted for early 2014.

The project is expected to cost about $50 million (Canadian).  The new single line random length (16 ft) sawmill will have an annual capacity of 150 million board feet.

"We believe in our solid wood business and we're taking action to grow and improve it. The new random length sawmill will complement our existing lumber product mix in Ontario and will allow Resolute to improve its product offering to customers in central Canada and key markets in the United States," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer, in a press release. "We are particularly excited about the active involvement of First Nations in the project and the opportunity for shared economic benefit that this represents."

Besides the initial 90 jobs, the company said additional indirect positions will be created for hauling finished lumber and residual chips.

Resolute said in addition to producing lumber, the new Atikokan sawmill and an upgraded sawmill in Ignace will support efforts to reposition an idled pulp mill in Fort Frances.  About 240 employees lost their jobs when the company indefinitely idled of the kraft mill and paper machine number 5 at Fort Frances last year, citing challenging market conditions.