MONTREAL – With a $15 million investment, the Solidarity Fund QFL (the “Fund”) is playing an active role in the re-opening of the pulp mill in Thurso, in the Outaouais region. The project is part of an acquisition of the old Fraser Paper mill, which shut down in June 2009, by Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc., a subsidiary of Fortress Paper Ltd., a leading global producer of security paper (e.g. banknotes) and specialty papers such as wallpaper.
Fortress Specialty Cellulose has a very innovative plan in store for the Thurso mill. Initially, it plans to convert the pulp mill to a speciality cellulose (dissolving pulp) operation. The new product will be sold mainly to the rayon market, a segment that is growing rapidly worldwide. In fact, rayon is increasingly replacing cotton because it breathes, is comfortable and easy to dye. Then, the corporation plans to build a 25 megawatt cogeneration plant that will produce electricity.
“This is great news for the region and for the forest industry, which will benefit from the expertise of a company that’s already a leader in its field. Innovation and R&D are central to Fortress Paper’s business strategies, which is very exciting. Since the mill will be producing products with substantial added value, the company has an ambitious business plan in mind that we are happy to back. In so doing, we continue to play an important role in the Québec wood industry, be it in sustainable forest management through Solifor or by investing in secondary and tertiary wood processing companies,” said the Fund’s executive vice-president of investments, Gaétan Morin.
About the Solidarity Fund QFL
The Solidarity Fund QFL helps drive our economy. With net assets of $7.0 billion as at November 30, 2009, the Fund is a development capital company that through its RRSP channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help create and maintain jobs and to further Québec’s economic growth. The Fund is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in 2,000 companies. It currently has nearly 571,000 shareholders and has helped, on its own or with other financial partners, to create, maintain and protect nearly 143,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.