Smurfit Kappa Advances Closure of Containerboard Machines at Townsend Hook, UK
"We are bringing forward the closure in order to extend the training period for our workforce, advance the start-up of the new paper machine and increase the pace of the expected ramp up." – Smurfit Kappa.
May 7, 2013 - Smurfit Kappa has brought forward plans to close the two existing containerboard machines at its papermaking facility at Townsend Hook in Kent and replace them with a single, more modern machine.
The corrugated packaging company was originally planning to close the machines, which turn used cardboard and mixed paper into brown paper for use in cardboard, in 2014, with the new machine becoming operational in early 2015
However, the firm announced [May 3] that the machines would be closing this July in a bid to ‘advance the start-up’ of the new machine.
The company explained: “We have decided to bring forward the closure of our two existing paper machines at our Townsend Hook mill in the UK. They have a combined capacity of 250,000 tonnes and are expected to close on 1 July 2013, after the completion of a consultation process with all employees, instead of 2014 as originally planned.
It continued: “We are bringing forward the closure in order to extend the training period for our workforce, advance the start-up of the new paper machine and increase the pace of the expected ramp up. The facility will be rebuilt (using a machine acquired from the Cadidavid liquidator in 2011) into one 250,000 tonne modern lightweight machine which will now be operational by quarter four of 2014 rather than quarter one 2015.”
The UK market for corrugated materials has three main players: DS Smith with facilities in Kent, SAICA Paper in Partington and Smurfit Kappa which also has a paper machine in Birmingham.
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