Felix Schoeller to Shut PM 17 at Titisee-Neustadt Mill

Oct. 7, 2010 - Felix Schoeller said that it will shut down a paper machine (PM 17) at the Titisee-Neustadt mill in Germany. The mill is operated by Technocell Dekor, a subsidiary of Felix Schoeller.

PM 17 produces 20,000 tonnes per year of decor paper, which is used as a surface finish for flooring, worktops and furniture.

The two-machine mill has two paper machines, PM 17 and PM 18.

Felix Schoeller said PM 18 will continue to produce specialties such as pre-impregnated papers (PRIP) and resin-saving papers (RSP). However, “...there is no alternative to mothballing PM 17 by 30 September 2011 at the latest,” the company said.

“PM 17, which we are about to shut down, is the smallest and least specialized of the paper machines within the Felix Schoeller Group that produce standard decor papers,” said Dr. Matthias Rauhut, board member of Felix Schoeller Holding with responsibility for the Group's mills.

“This paper machine no longer meets all the requirements of efficient and highly productive decor paper production,” Dr. Rauhut said.

The machine shutdown will affect 84 of 189 jobs at the Titisee-Neustadt mill, effective April 1, 2011.

According to Felix Schoeller, almost the entire German paper industry is suffering a serious weakness in earnings performance caused by drastic increases in costs — particularly for pulp, additives and energy. The price of pulp has almost doubled in the space of a year, and the price of titanium dioxide, a pigment used in large quantities to produce decor paper, jumped up by 30 percent in 2010, the company said.

Felix Schoeller also cited rising energy costs and the German government's plans to impose higher taxes on energy-intensive businesses, factored into its decision to shut the machine.

The Titisee-Neustadt mill, located in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, has the capacity to produce 47,000 tonnes of specialty papers on two paper machines — PM 17 and PM 18.

PM 17 has the capacity of 20,000 tpy and exclusively produces decor paper. PM 18 has the capacity to produce 27,000 tpy of specialty papers such as PRIP (pre-impregnated paper ) and RSP (resin-saving paper).

SOURCE: Felix Schoeller