Resolute Forest Products Inc. has confirmed the signature of a framework agreement with the Quebec government and explained the measures found in the agreement. The agreement includes measures for renewal of water power leases for certain generating stations in Quebec's Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region as well as consolidation of some of the company's Quebec facilities.
One of the highlights of the framework agreement is that it puts an end to the dispute between the parties concerning the Jim-Gray contract. On December 31, 2011, the Quebec government announced its decision to retake possession of this generating station. At that time Resolute took note of the decision without ever waiving its rights. "Today, I am pleased to be able to conclude this episode, and Resolute will continue to be involved in a good number of Quebec communities," stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.
The framework agreement also provides for an increase in the timber supply guarantee for the La Doré and Saint-Félicien (Quebec) sawmills as part of the consolidation of Resolute's sawmill operations in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region as well as the grant of a 150,000 cubic meter volume of wood for the Aboriginal community of Mashteuiatsh by the Quebec government, which will enable the community to carry out economic development projects.
According to Yves Laflamme, Senior Vice President, Wood Products, Procurement and Information Technology, these volumes will give the sawmills an additional wood supply to maintain their operations while enabling the First Nations community to ensure its economic development. "Consolidation of our activities in the region works if we have enough wood to keep our sawmill operations viable. With this consolidation, we can maintain a level of activity that improves the profitability of these operations, keeps quality jobs in the region and ultimately lets us justify investments," Mr. Laflamme stated.