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    Baikal pulp mill set to cut staff amid supply problems

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    IRKUTSK, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - The Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant, which halted production last week due to a lack of raw materials, will soon start cutting staff, the factory's trade union chief said Monday.

    The plant, which employs over 2,300 people, stopped production Friday and informed department heads Monday that layoffs would follow.

    "We are expecting the first compulsory redundancies in the next two or three days," Alexander Shandrik said.

    He did not give exact figures, but said: "We think that each of the mill's departments could see as much as a 10% reduction in staff."

    The mill, which is located next to the world's largest body of fresh water, Siberia's Lake Baikal, recently switched its production process to a closed water cycle after coming under pressure over waste discharges into the lake, a UNESCO world heritage site.

    The Baikal pulp mill, which produces 200,000 metric tons of pulp and 12,000 metric tons of paper annually, is owned by the timber industrial company Continental Management (51%) and the State Property Committee of Russia (49%).

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