International Paper to Shutdown Four Paper Machines, 655 Jobs Eliminated
Press release from the issuing company
STAMFORD, Conn., July 12 International Paper today announced plans to indefinitely shut down production capacity of 670,000 tons within its containerboard and coated papers businesses. Three paper machines at the company's Savannah, Ga., mill and one at its Hudson River mill in Corinth, N.Y., will be indefinitely shutdown.
"These are difficult decisions impacting mills with a significant history for our company. However, the strong dollar has continuously weakened our export business in containerboard, while increasing imports of coated paper,'' said John Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer. "We are committed to matching our production with customer demand. Shutting down these machines will allow the two mills to optimize remaining assets to better satisfy our customers.''
The machine shutdowns will result in reductions of approximately 610,000 tons of the company's U.S. containerboard capacity (12 percent) and 60,000 tons of its coated freesheet capacity (7.5 percent). Following these shutdowns, International Paper will have approximately 4.3 million tons of U.S. containerboard capacity and 0.7 million tons of U.S. coated freesheet capacity.
At the Savannah, Ga., mill, the No. 4, No. 6, and No. 2 paper machines will be shut down indefinitely. Approximately 290 jobs will be eliminated at the Savannah mill as a result of the three machine shutdowns. Three other machines at the mill will remain operational allowing the mill to increase its focus on the kraft papers and saturating kraft markets.
The Hudson River mill will indefinitely shut down its No. 3 paper machine and focus efforts on operating its No. 11 paper machine to make value-added grades as well as coated freesheet and coated groundwood grades. Approximately 225 positions will be eliminated at the Hudson River mill.
In addition, the company's Forest Resources business, headquartered in Savannah, Ga., today announced an internal reorganization designed to increase flexibility and reduce its administrative costs. The reorganization will affect 140 jobs across the business and will include consolidation of the company's five regional forestry operations into three. The three regional forestry operations will be headquartered in Jackson, Miss., Georgetown, S.C., and Augusta, Maine. Regional forestry operations will no longer be located in Savannah, Ga., and Shreveport, La. Employees from other businesses at these regional offices will not be affected by the consolidation, and the Forest Resources business will continue to be headquartered in Savannah.
Employees impacted by the machine shutdowns and the Forest Resources restructuring will have access to support services including outplacement and job counseling.
International Paper will meet with organized labor representatives at the affected operations to bargain the effects of the shutdowns on unionized employees.
A total of 655 jobs will be eliminated as a result of these actions, in addition to the previously announced plans to eliminate 3,000 salaried positions within the company's U.S. workforce.
The company will take a second-quarter charge on earnings, which will be reported on July 17.
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