Decline in graphic paper demand is expected to continue
UPM announced that it planned to permanently close paper machine 5 at UPM Blandin in Minnesota, United States, reducing its output capacity by approximately 128,000 tons of coated magazine paper in response to overcapacities in the North American paper market. The company said that the closure was expected to be completed by end of the first quarter of 2018 the latest. Paper production related to paper machine 6 is planned to continue at the Blandin site.
In addition, UPM said it would optimize operations at its UPM Nordland Papier and UPM NorService units in Dörpen, Germany, Europe's biggest fine paper site. Streamlining internal processes and investing in automation would enable a sustainable improvement of the fixed cost structure, the company explained.
In total 223 positions are estimated to be affected by these plans in Dörpen at UPM Nordland Papier and UPM NorService. At UPM Blandin, it is estimated that 150 positions will be affected by the plans. Employment related actions in Blandin will start with immediate effect and will be handled in accordance with federal and state statutory requirements. The employee consultation process in Dörpen will start in November in line with local legislation.