MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 13 -- International Paper today announced the permanent shutdown of its No. 3 uncoated freesheet paper machine at its Franklin, Va., Mill. This will result in the permanent curtailment of the company's annual paper production capacity by approximately 150,000 tons of uncoated freesheet paper and affect approximately 50 employees. The plan targets November 23 to begin the shutdown. In addition, approximately 60,000 tons of lack of order downtime will be taken out of the company's U.S. uncoated freesheet paper mills during the fourth quarter.
"Because of the continuing decline of uncoated freesheet paper demand, we must reduce our capacity and announce this permanent machine shutdown," said Wayne Brafford, IP's senior vice president, Printing & Communications Papers. "Our company's commitment to optimize our mill operations to meet the needs of our customers made this difficult business decision necessary. The additional capacity reductions, as lack of order downtime, reflect the current economic weakness in our markets," added Brafford.
"We also understand this announcement will create uncertainty for employees, their families and the communities affected, especially in the Franklin area," said Brafford. "We will do all we can to assist them during the shutdown process and downtime period."
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