Norske Skog eyes shutdown of Tasman paper machineNorske Skog is considering permanently shutting down one paper machine at its Tasman newsprint and directory paper mill in Kawerau, New Zealand, reported The Daily Post on 17 August. In a statement from mill management, workers were told that the mill needed to reduce its capacity by 150,000 tonnes per year due to declining demand for newsprint, both globally and regionally.
The mill has sought to offset the drop in demand in New Zealand and Australia by increasing its exports to Asia over the past three years, The Daily Post reported. However, Asian newsprint capacity has grown, global competition has eroded prices, and exchange rates are unfavourable, causing the mill’s export sales to become unprofitable, said Peter McCarty, the mill manager.
The Tasman mill will continue to ship newsprint to New Zealand, Australia and Pacific Island, he said, adding that various renewable energy options are being evaluated, reported the Daily Post. McCarty would not say how many of the mill’s 300 workers might lose their jobs as that will not be determined until it’s decided whether or not to permanently idle a paper machine, and that decision is not expected until next month.
Source: Industry Intelligence Inc, The Daily Post, Rotorua
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