Calhoun, Tenn., plant shuts down newsprint production, cuts 150 jobs

Calhoun, Tenn., plant shuts down newsprint production, cuts 150 jobs

March 12th, 2013 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Resolute Forest Products is located next to the Hiwassee River near Charleston Tenn.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

The new owner of the paper mill in Calhoun, Tenn., is shutting down its newsprint machine and laying off 150 employees.

Resolute Forest Products, which merged with the former AbitibiBowater Inc. in 2007 and acquired the rest of the Calhoun mill it didn't already own earlier this week, announced the shut down of the newsprint operation today.

"The idling comes as a result of a decrease in demand for newsprint, coupled with high operating costs for the machine," the company said in a statement.

The Calhoun mill produced 215,000 metric tons per year and supplied newsprint for newspapers across the South, including the Chattanooga Times Free Press. A plant in Augusta, Ga., will now supply such newsprint.

The decision follows Resolute's March 11 acquisition of the 49 percent interest in Calhoun Newsprint Co., owned by The Herald Publishing Company, LLC, its joint-venture partner.

The Calhoun mill currently employs 610 workers, and will continue to operate two specialty paper machines and the pulp dryer.

Resolute said severance will be provided to affected employees according to the local labor agreement or the corporate policy for salaried employees.

The French-owned Resolute Forest Products, formerly known as AbitibiBowater Inc., is a pulp and paper manufacturer headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.