Fortress Paper takes maintenance downtime following an incident at its FSC mill in Thurso, QC

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Fortress Paper takes maintenance downtime following an incident at its FSC mill in Thurso, QC

December 05, 2013 - 14:36

VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 5, 2013 (Marketwired) -Fortress Paper Ltd. ("Fortress Paper" or the "Company") reports that an incident occurred at its Fortress Specialty Mill (the "FSC Mill") in Thurso, Québec on December 2, 2013, which the Company initially believed was repairable in the normal course. However, upon further investigation it was determined that the incident was caused by an improper third-party pipe fitting installation on one of the four digesters. As the Company continued the investigation into the root cause of the incident it was revealed that there is a significant crack on a similar pipe connected to another digester. To repair the damaged pipe, the Company has determined that the FSC Mill must be shut down until at least December 10, 2013. During this time, a thorough investigation into the efficacy of certain similar pipe installations at the FSC Mill will also be conducted. Accordingly, the impact of the incident will be at least six days' equivalent of lost production.

In order to mitigate the cost of the shutdown, all but essential staff required to perform the investigation and maintain the mill will be sent home during this interim period. The cogeneration facility at the FSC Mill will continue to operate at a reduced rate and produce heat and power for the mill. The Company is also evaluating whether it is able to claim against its insurance policy to cover and limit the losses which result from this incident. The Company intends to provide an update on December 10, 2013.

About Fortress Paper

Fortress Paper operates internationally in two distinct business segments: dissolving pulp and security paper products. The Company operates its dissolving pulp business at the FSC Mill located in Canada, which has expanded into the renewable energy generation sector with the construction of a cogeneration facility and is in the process of expanding production into NBHK pulp. The Company is also seeking to expand its dissolving pulp capacity with the acquisition of Fortress Global Cellulose Mill located at Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Québec, which the Company is evaluating to convert into a dissolving pulp mill and re-start the cogeneration facility. The Company operates its security paper products business at the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, where it produces banknote, passport, visa and other brand protection and security papers, and at its high security production and research facility located in Canada, where it manufactures optically variable thin film material.