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Maintenance/Strike Shutdowns Take 30,300 Ton Toll at Mercer's Celgar Mill

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Mercer International Inc., New York, N.Y., USA, this week announced that, during the current quarter, its Celgar mill (near Castlegar in British Columbia, Canada) took its annual scheduled major maintenance shutdown. As a result of a combination of a lightning strike at the mill and equipment and execution issues, the shutdown, which was planned for 11 days, took 15 days instead.

Also, Mercer reports, startup of the mill was slower than budgeted. The shutdown and slower startup resulted in a loss of approximately 30,300 air-dried metric tons (admt) of NBSK (northern bleached softwood kraft) pulp production (of which approximately 14,300 admt were unplanned) and a consequential loss of energy production. Mercer currently estimates that the Celgar mill's shutdown will have an overall negative impact of approximately EUR 11 million to its operating income in its second quarter of 2013 results, compared with its first quarter 2013 results.

Jimmy Lee, president and chairman, said that "we believe the issues with this recent shutdown were isolated and the mill is performing well and operating at pre-shutdown levels." He concluded: "We believe our current inventory levels are adequate and anticipate no material customer issues from this event."

Mercer's Celgar mill produces approximately 520,000 admt annually. It is one of the largest and most modern kraft pulp mills in North America.


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