RUMFORD – Catalyst Paper announced Tuesday that its No. 12 paper machine at the Rumford mill will remain idle indefinitely. 

The machine, which manufactures coated paper used in catalogs and magazines, was shut down in May and over 50 workers lost their jobs. No more layoffs are expected, according to officials.

When Catalyst Paper announced the temporary shut down in May, Rumford mill spokesman Tony Lyons said the resulting layoffs were “directly market-related,” and that the mill would be re-evaluating the situation throughout the summer.

Following the announcement Tuesday, United Steelworkers Local 900 President Ron Hemingway said he still has hope that the No. 12 paper machine will run again.

“I know that they’re going to continue to turn the machine over a couple of times a week to make sure it runs properly,” Hemingway said. “It helps keep the machine viable for the future.”

Hemingway said the sales force for Catalyst needs “to come up with a plan to sell paper” on the No. 12 paper machine, and “if the right orders get put in, maybe they’ll find it beneficial to start the machine again.”


Joe Nemeth, president and CEO of Catalyst Paper, said in a news release, “This is a difficult, but necessary decision that supports Catalyst’s commitment to align mill operations and production with market demand.”

“We remain committed to making the Rumford operation successful,” Nemeth said. “Year to date, we’ve invested more than $10 million in upgrades to the mill, including major maintenance related to the recovery boiler. The company is also implementing a proven revitalization program to increase productivity, and developing new, higher-value products to optimize Rumford’s production capability.”

In November 2013, the Rumford mill announced it would stop making coated paper on the No. 12 paper machine due to “tough economic conditions.” About 120 workers were laid off. Forty-one hourly employees were recalled in April 2014 when the mill started using the machine again.

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