Nova Scotia

NewPage struggles with high dollar

The strong Canadian dollar is the latest threat to the bottom line at one of Nova Scotia's big employers.

The strong Canadian dollar is the latest threat to the bottom line at one of Nova Scotia's big employers.

NewPage Corp. said Monday that operations at its paper mill in Port Hawkesbury have been "negatively impacted by the stronger Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar and high utility costs."

The company said the rising loonie cost it $4 million in the second quarter of this year. It also said it expects energy costs at the mill to jump another 16 per cent next year.

The warning was contained in the company's second quarter financial results.

Hundreds of people work at the mill, which produces newsprint and glossy paper used in magazines. Many others are dependent on the plant for indirect jobs.

NewPage has already applied to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for lower power rates for five years. A hearing will be held in September.

The Strait Area Chamber of Commerce is backing NewPage's bid, even though it means higher rates for residential customers.

Ohio-based NewPage bought the mill in 2007. Many people in the area feared the plant would close after Stora Enso announced it was selling it because of ongoing money troubles.

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