UPM's Chapelle Darblay mill running at reduced rate,
no news on potential buyer

29 Nov 2019 − 

UPM's Chapelle Darblay newsprint mill will be sold or closed down next year. But already now, the company is not producing at full capacity at the site, citing market-related reasons.

UPM's Chapelle Darblay newsprint mill in France, which the company plans to sell next year, is currently running at a reduced rate. A UPM spokesperson confirmed that market-related downtime measures were taken from time to time at the site.

Market players in France told EUWID that the site has not been producing at full capacity for some time now and put the operating rate at about 50-60 per cent. Raw material suppliers also confirmed that the company is gradually scaling back its recovered paper purchases. Insiders do not expect that the mill will continue producing publication paper in the future, but rather believe the site might be transformed to make other products.

Meanwhile, the deadline for the presentation of takeover offers for Chapelle Darblay is approaching. UPM announced in September that offers had to be made by mid-January 2020. A spokesperson of France's CGT union said there had been mill visits from potential investors. However, the company was not communicating any details on takeover offers or potential scenarios for the future of the mill, he added. When asked by EUWID, UPM declined to comment on the status quo. If no buyer is found, the company plans to close down the mill by the middle of next year.

The Chapelle Darblay mill is located in Grand-Couronne in northern France and has a capacity of 240,000 tpy of newsprint. A second machine is on site, but this PM was idled in mid-2015.

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