By David Helwig
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
In fact, there's so much good news tonight, we hardly know where to begin!
Last week, the Bank of Canada was telling us how the recession is over, with growth expected during the current quarter due to improved consumer confidence.
Today, the U.S. Federal Reserve confirmed that the recession is easing or economic activity is at least beginning to stabilize in most parts of that country, cautioning that the situation is still fragile.
Today, Essar Steel Algoma is reporting that all its previously laid-off employees are back on the job.
"We do not have anyone on layoff," Brenda Stenta, Essar's manager of corporate communications, tells SooToday.com. "Number 6 blast furnace remains idle at this time pending market recovery. We expect to operate within this production range for the foreseeable future, subject to market conditions.
"It would be premature to suggest demand has rebounded. However, we remain optimistic and will continue to flex our production accordingly," Stenta says.
And tonight, we received this great news from St. Marys Paper:
St. Marys Paper Corp. to return to full production
St. Marys Paper will return to full production on August 13.
Since the beginning of 2009, worldwide market demand has been weak.
In May, a decision was made to curtail capacity and avoid the expense of large inventory build, resulting in employee layoffs.
The black liquor tax credit in the USA has compounded the weak market conditions and has created competitive disadvantages.
During the curtailment period, St. Marys Paper successfully operated one of its three machines, achieving its goal of not building inventory while maintaining customer service and market share.
It has proven that the three paper machine platform can be a flexible business model during challenging economic times.
St. Marys Paper is continuing to pursue its goal to construct a 35MW biomass-fired cogeneration facility.
This is a fundamental step in achieving its long-term business plan to transition from a supercalendered paper mill, to an business enterprise engaged in the production of paper, energy and innovative bio fiber products thereby ensuring its continued economic viability.
St. Marys Paper employs approximately 300 persons in its mill and is directly and indirectly responsible for 1,000 jobs in the Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.