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Potlatch Consolidates Midwest Tissue Converting Plants

Jan. 12, 2006 (Press Release) - Potlatch said that it is consolidating its Midwestern tissue converting and transportation operations at its Elwood, Illinois, facilities to reduce costs and to more efficiently serve the company's expanding Midwestern and Eastern private label tissue customers.

The company said that its single converting line at Benton Harbor, Michigan, would be shut down on February 28, 2006, and the equipment relocated to Elwood. Approximately half of the 35 employees at Benton Harbor may transfer to Elwood, according to company officials.

Potlatch leased the Benton Harbor location in 2000 and purchased the line in the fall of 2005. The Elwood operation started up in 2002.

With the planned May 1, 2006, startup of the relocated converting line, the Elwood facility will have four complete lines and a fifth line will be installed in late December. With all five converting lines, Elwood will service Potlatch's Midwestern and Eastern private label tissue customers with a full range of the company's tissue products as well as the company's new Ultra through-air-dried (TAD) household towel.

Robert P. DeVleming, Vice President of Potlatch's Consumer Products Division, emphasized that the consolidation at Elwood will also reduce transportation costs. "The Elwood facility allows Potlatch to use lower-cost rail to deliver large parent rolls from our paper manufacturing mills in Idaho and Las Vegas and then convert and distribute the finished goods in the Midwest and East. Consolidating the Benton Harbor converting line into our Elwood facility will reduce our operating and distribution costs," he said.

SOURCE: Potlatch Corp




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