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The first quarter of 2012 is behind us and, oddly enough, the last half on March has been hard operationally with the ongoing late snow falls.
With woodlands shut down, we have been fortunate to purchase logs on the open market from Proban to keep our lumber manufacturing operations up and running.
The weather has also delayed the construction of our new value added facility; however, we are now into spring so our delays should be coming to an end and we have targeted mid May for startup.
The two S-61s working in Australia’s fire season is coming to an end and we are looking to place these aircraft, IRX and CLM, with a Greece fire fighting contract which is being bid in April. Another option would be to bring them back to Canada for heavy lift operations and fire fighting.
S-61 BSF will be making a trip up to Nuunavit in April to do some work for the government and both S-61s in Afghanistan have been busy supporting CHL’s operations.
As an industry and community, we all continue to watch the daily maneuvering between Catalyst Paper and their bond holders. April will be the key for them as they will either get an agreement with the existing investors regarding debt service, or the Company will be broken up and sold to the highest bidder. The most stable option is allowing them to continue, as is, with a manageable debt load, as the break-up of the company would not be good for employees, suppliers or communities.
Catalyst has been a good corporate citizen in Port Alberni and a respected company to work with so we wish them all the best in resolving a very difficult situation.