Sappi Plans to Close Usutu Pulp Mill in Africa
Oct. 30, 2009 - Sappi said that it plans to close Usutu Pulp Mill in the southern portion (Swaziland) of Africa on January 31, 2010.
Sappi said adverse market conditions, as well as the cumulative severe impact of fire damage over the past few years, in particular the fires of August 2008 which destroyed 40% of the Usutu timber crop, have rendered the mill operation unsustainable
Talks have started with staff and all other relevant stakeholders regarding the closure of the mill, Sappi said.
The closure would mark Sappi's exit of the unbleached softwood flash-dried pulp market served by Usutu mill, which has a capacity of 190,000 tons per year.
Sappi said that it will continue to seek future opportunities for the profitable use of the Usutu forests, which could include the introduction of new investors.
The Sappi Usutu Pulp Company directly employs around 600 people.