International Paper to cut containerboard and pulp capacity

IP has announced plans to permanently close the Orange mill and two fibre lines at the Pensacola and Riegelwood pulp mills in the US. The "strategic actions" will result in more than 850 jobs being axed at the three sites.

International Paper (IP) has announced a series of strategic actions aimed at strengthening and optimising the group's manufacturing system by reducing its production capacity for containerboard and pulp. According to IP, the company will permanently close its Orange, Texas, containerboard mill. The mill has a production capacity of 800,000 sh.t and employs about 565 people.

Furthermore, IP plans to permanently shut-down fibre lines no.20 at the Riegelwood, North Carolina, and no. 4 at Pensacola, Florida, mills. The closures are expected to reduce fluff pulp capacity of IP's Global Cellulose Fibers division by approximately 500,000 tpy and cut its workforce by 300 employees.

IP expects the Orange containerboard mill and the fibre line no. 20 in Riegelwood to cease production by the end of the year. Fibre line no.4 at Pensacola was already down and would not resume production, IP explained.

Following the announced closures, the IP will continue to operate 17 containerboard mills in North America with a total capacity of 13 million sh.t. IP's remamining pulp system will include eight mills with an annual production capacity of 2.7 million t, the company said.

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