Rottneros Mill to Halt Groundwood Pulp Production, Cut 50 Workers

Rottneros Mill will stop producing groundwood pulp this winter.

May 22, 2012 - Rottneros said that it is beginning negotiations regarding the termination of continuous groundwood pulp production at Rottneros Mill.

The measure is the result of rapidly declining consumption of printing paper in Europe, which has led to a dramatic reduction in demand for groundwood pulp, the company said.

The mill employs about 100 workers and 50 will be given a notice of termination.

Rottneros said the production of groundwood pulp is expected to cease this winter, but the actual date depends on the outcome of union negotiations and also agreements with customers affected.

The production of CTMP (chemi-thermomechanical pulp) at the mill will continue, Rottneros added.

"It naturally feels very sad to have to conclude that the market for this product is shrinking," said Ole Terland, President of Rottneros AB. "Thanks to raw materials and the high level of professional skills at the mill, we are producing a select and leading product in terms of quality, but this is still not enough."

"It is, of course, worse for our employees who have to leave us, and we are therefore attempting to make the transition as smooth as possible," Terland added.

Olle Dahlin, MD of Rottneros Bruk AB, said, "The improved preconditions for CTMP will make us a leading manufacturer in terms of quality, primarily for the board and packaging segment, which is where we see the greatest potential for customer value. The production line for groundwood pulp is being left where it is, as it is not out of the question that demand could return, for example owing to changes in the supply of suitable recycled fibers. This will result in an opportunity to alternate staff between the two production lines, thereby generating flexibility."

The cut-backs at the groundwood mill will not affect the preconditions for the production of packaging within SilviPak and likewise for the potential manufacture of "green" vehicle fuel at Rottneros Mill, the company said in a statement.

Rottneros Mill has a production capacity of approximately 170,000 tonnes of mechanical pulp — groundwood and CTMP. In 2011, the mill produced 124,500 tonnes.

SOURCE: Rottneros

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