US International Paper investing $150m in one mill, closing another

17 September 2013 20:05  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--International Paper (IP) will invest up to $150m (€113m) into its mill near Rome, Georgia, as part of a restructuring of its production operations, the world’s largest pulp and paper company said on Tuesday.

The Georgia mill produces about 850,000 tons/year of containerboard.

The investment, which will be conducted in three phases, is to modernise operations and will occur over the next three years, the US-based company said.

No details about expansion of facilities or job creation were disclosed.

“We are very appreciative of the state of Georgia and to the officials that live and work with us in the community of Rome,” IP said. “International Paper will continue our strategic cost improvement initiatives, as these projects ensure that we will remain competitive.” 

Tuesday’s announcement comes nearly a week after IP announced a mill closure in nearby Alabama.

On 11 September, IP announced plans to close its mill in Courtland, Alabama, citing the continuing decline of paper use in the digital age.

The Courtland mill will be shut down in stages, with full closure expected by the end of the first quarter of 2014. Some 1,100 jobs will be affected.

The mill’s closure will reduce IP’s North American uncoated and coated freesheet paper production capacity by 950,000 tons.

The mill produces paper for forms, envelopes, labels, copiers, printers and magazines. IP noted that demand for freesheet paper in North America has been in decline since 1999, a decrease that has accelerated in recent years due to consumers switching to electronic publications and billing.

The Courtland closure and Rome investment announcements are unrelated decisions, IP said.

IP, like all large pulp and paper companies, extensively uses chemicals to manufacture its products. Caustic soda, starch, sodium chlorate, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and latex are the primary chemical inputs used by the company.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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