Domtar announces further production stoppage


Another of Domtar's fine paper mills will be temporarily shut down due to declining demand. Production of woodfree uncoated paper will be reduced by around 75,000 t.

Canadian Domtar Corporation is extending downtime measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic in order to adjust supply to demand. The company announced it would temporarily idle its Hawesville fine paper mill in Kentucky, USA. Considering also other idling measures recently announced, Domtar will reduce output of woodfree uncoated (WFU) paper by around 250,000 t.

The Hawesville mill operates two paper machines with a combined capacity of 540,000 tpy of WFU paper, and a pulp line with a capacity of 412,000 tpy. The downtime will start on 5 May, Domtar says. While PM 1 is planned to restart in June, PM 2 is expected to remain idle until July. The company expects that the measure will result in a production loss of 75,000 t. Around 400 employees will have to be temporarily laid off.

On 6 April, Domtar had also announced the temporary closure of its Kingsport mill and of one PM at the Ashdown site for three months. Both mills produce WFU paper and pulp. Kingsport has a paper capacity of 385,000 tpy on one machine and a pulp capacity of 300,000 tpy, while the PM at Ashdown can produce up to 180,000 tpy and the site's three pulp lines up to 710,000 tpy.

According to Domtar it is necessary to optimise capacity in the current environment, considering the impacts of Covid-19 on business, which are reducing demand. The company anticipates inventory to be at appropriate levels after this downtime.

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