German firm wants Abitibi mill: N.L. minister
A German company is hoping to take control of the former AbitibiBowater paper mill in central Newfoundland, Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale revealed in the house of assembly Thursday afternoon.
Responding to questions in the legislature, Dunderdale said Lott Paper is working with the government in hopes of acquiring the Grand Falls-Windsor mill that closed in February 2009.
Dunderdale told the house she had received a formal business plan, but clarified to reporters afterward that the government had actually received a letter of intent with a fair level of detail. Dunderdale said she expects a business plan by Monday, but cautioned the proposal is far from a done deal.
"This is something that we are very cautious about," Dunderdale said.
"There are not many companies in the world today looking to get into the pulp and paper industry, and that is something that we are going to spend a lot of time analyzing."
No specifics about the negotiations were released, but Dunderdale said Lott's general plan is to buy the mill and use the local wood supply to feed its paper machines. The Ministry of Natural Resources, and the finance and business departments are all involved in the process, she said.
A delegation from the company visited the mill, which mainly produced newsprint, earlier this spring.
According to its website Lott Paper, based in Germany and Austria, specializes in fine and hard cardboard, and has a staff of 100 employees.