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Fortress to Make Major Investment in Birch Project at Dissolving Pulp Mill

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Fortress Paper Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada, this week announced a major investment to advance its strategic project of utilizing birch to manufacture dissolving pulp at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Thurso, Qué. Birch trees grow abundantly across Canada and are considered an underutilized species of tree. The project will ensure a better use of the mixed forest in the local region, increase economic activity, and result in other ancillary economic benefits.

The project is estimated to cost approximately $19.7 million in total, with $9 million to be funded by the Government of Canada through a non-repayable contribution. The remainder of the project's total cost is expected to be financed by the company with cash on hand, operating cash-flow, and other investment incentive programs, such as the Hydro Québec "Rate L" tariff.

The company anticipates that the project will be completed in the first quarter of 2018, and is expected to result in an incremental annual production capacity increase of 8,500 ADMT in 2018 and 17,000 ADMT in 2019, compared with current production capacity.

Yvon Pelletier, president and CEO of Fortress Paper, said that "we are delighted with the support of the federal government. This investment highlights the innovative and transformative potential of producing dissolving pulp using birch. The Project demonstrates our commitment to pursuing strategic initiatives that build long-term shareholder value."

Fortress Paper operates internationally in two distinct business segments—dissolving pulp and security paper products. The company operates its dissolving pulp business at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Canada, which has expanded into the renewable energy generation sector with the construction of a cogeneration facility. The company operates its security paper products business at the Landqart Mill in Switzerland, where it produces banknote, passport, visa, and other brand protection and security papers.


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