Catalyst Paper (TSX:CYT) today announced an investment of nearly $16 million in the Rumford pulp and paper mill in Maine, U.S. This is a planned second quarter investment that includes the company’s single largest maintenance expenditure in 2015.
Approximately $11.4 million will be invested in various maintenance projects including upgrading the Rumford mill’s Recovery Boiler C, which involves completely replacing the 35-year-old generating bank. An additional $4.5 million in capital investments will be made in Q2 (with $1.8 million invested in Q1).
The Rumford mill is exposed to significant seasonal energy cost fluctuations, and with record cold in 2015 resulting in higher than average first quarter energy costs of $3.0 million, this significant maintenance effort will maximize the overall operation and reliability of Recovery Boiler C, leading to improved energy efficiency and reduced energy costs to help mitigate future seasonal energy cost exposure.
“Today’s announcement reflects the strategic investments we’re making in our recently acquired US assets to accelerate operational excellence improvements that will ultimately deliver enhanced performance and results,” saidJoe Nemeth, President & Chief Executive Officer. “We expect to realize the benefits of this and other key investments in the second half of 2015 as we complete planned maintenance and capital work, and manage the significant costs we anticipated related to the integration of our US operations. With these and other costs behind us, our assets are well positioned to meet improving market conditions in the second half of the year.”
Catalyst anticipates the replacement of the generating bank and additional, related maintenance work at the Rumfordmill will be complete by May 30.