PaperAge Magazine

Flambeau River Papers Idles Paper Machine No. 3 in Park Falls, Wisconsin

Flambeau River Papers

Jan. 8, 2018 – Flambeau River Papers (FRP) announced that it is idling paper machine No. 3 at the company's pulp and paper mill in Park Falls, Wisconsin. The machine produces uncoated freesheet grades.

The mill will continue to operate its two other paper machines that produce specialty paper grades.

According to a news story by Seth Carlson, managing editor of the Price County Review, about 82 people will lose their jobs at the mill — 67 union employees and 15 management positions.

FRP's chief executive, William (Butch) Johnson on Jan. 5 told mill employees that “the key to FRP's long term viability is the enhanced dedication and focus of all at FRP on increasing technical papermaking capabilities and continued growth of sales of FRP value-added and specialty papers.

FRP expanded efforts to grow production of value-added and specialty papers about five years ago, and sales of these grades now represent over 90% of the mill's capacity on Paper Machines #1 and #2.

“That while papers like laser bond and offset (run on PM #3) have been good fill grades for the mill in the past, they are no longer and jeopardize the mill's ability to continue operations,” Johnson explained. “Therefore, we will exit production of these commodity-type papers and idle our #3 PM, effective January 5th 2018.

“As a result of idling #3PM, some of our fellow FRP employees will lose their jobs and our surrounding community will be impacted. This will be painful for all of us. We are committed to doing what we can to help the affected employees find new jobs,” Johnson said. “These painful changes at the mill are necessary to help ensure a viable and sustainable pulp and paper operation for Flambeau River Papers, the City of Park Falls, and all the good paying jobs that the mill provides.”

SOURCE: Flambeau River Papers LLC