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AbitibiBowater marks one-year anniversary

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AbitibiBowater recently marked its one-year anniversary, celebrating the formation of one of the largest publicly-traded paper and forest products companies in the world.

The merger has allowed the company to become a more dynamic, competitive, and sustainable organization in today’s challenging business reality.

“AbitibiBowater has made significant financial progress since the merger,” said president and CEO David J. Paterson.

“The company reached an annualized separate run rate of $320 million at the end of Q3, and is well on track to achieve its goal of $375 million in annualized synergies by the end of 2009,” he noted.

The company made a number of difficult decisions over the past year to ensure its sustainability. The removal of unprofitable newsprint, commercial printing papers, and wood products capacity, and consolidation of sawmill assets, were crucial to maintaining the company’s competitiveness.

AbitibiBowater’s one-year anniversary is marked by several milestones and commitments.

For instance, AbitibiBowater has reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent globally, and is one of the world’s largest recyclers of newspapers and magazines.

The company also has introduced several innovative and environmental-friendly products, such as ECOPAQUETM and ECOLASERTM, which are totally chlorine-free and use 50 percent less wood fibre than traditional uncoated freesheet.

As well, the Company is the world leader in sustainable forest management, with roughly 99 percent of its woodlands certified to internationally-recognized, third-party audited sustainable forest management standards.

AbitibiBowater generates 44 percent of its own energy requirements, almost entirely from renewable non-fossil fuel sources. Its $84-million investment in a new biomass recovery boiler at Fort Frances significantly will reduce the facility’s carbon footprint, as well as production costs.

The boiler produces steam from the waste biomass material, which generates electricity and heat used in the mill.

Safety is AbitibiBowater’s first priority. The company has improved significantly its overall safety performance since 2007.

To date, more than 16 facilities have won AbitibiBowater’s Board of Directors Safety Award, which honours locations that operate 250,000 or 500,000 consecutive hours without a recordable injury.

AbitibiBowater also has achieved a significant milestone regarding re-financing. The company successfully has completed $1.4 billion in financial transactions to address the debt maturities and general liquidity needs of Abitibi-Consolidated.

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