NewPage to Cut Coated Paper Production in Q4

Oct. 12, 2009 - NewPage said that it plans to take approximately 160,000 tons of market-related downtime in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Specific operating and curtailment plans, as well as timing, are still being developed, NewPage said.

The production downtime is expected to include the indefinite shutdown of the No. 63 paper machine at the Whiting, Wisconsin mill.

"We continue to operate in a very challenging environment, and remain committed to running our operations efficiently as we balance production and demand," said Rick Willett, president and chief executive officer for NewPage. "Though we are announcing that No. 63 paper machine will be curtailed in fourth quarter, we will continue to support our lightweight coated groundwood customers at the Biron, Wisconsin and Rumford, Maine mills where we recently expanded our capabilities to produce these products."

NewPage said that low-priced imports from China and Indonesia, along with the general economic downturn, have put pressure on U.S. coated papermakers.

In a writtem press statement, NewPage said, "The domestic market has eroded because of unfair trade practices which have forced U.S. producers to take market-related downtime as well as close numerous paper machines, resulting in thousands of job losses. As a result, NewPage, along with other U.S. paper producers and the United Steelworkers (USW), recently filed antidumping and countervailing duty cases covering certain types of coated paper that are being imported into the U.S. from China and Indonesia in violation of international trade rules."

"We are hopeful that the trade cases will restore a level playing field in the market for coated papers," Willett added. "We plan to restart the No. 63 machine in Whiting, Wisconsin, as well as the No. 10 machine in Rumford, Maine that was idled in September, as soon as market conditions allow."

SOURCE: NewPage Corp.

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