Thursday, 26 Mar 2020 11:27 GMT

150 jobs at risk over potential paper mill closure

Sappi Europe is considering the closure of one of its Germany-based paper mills due to continued decline in demand.

The provider of woodfibre products and solutions has entered consultations over the future of Paper Machine 2 at its Stockstadt mill.

Barry Wiersum, chief executive officer of Sappi Europe, says: “We fully recognise and commend the enormous efforts, both past and present, that employees and the management of Stockstadt mill have undertaken to reduce costs in order to earn better margins. Despite these relentless efforts the situation will not improve in the foreseeable future.

“We very much regret that we are confronted with this situation and hope that the consultation period can be used to find jointly socially acceptable solutions. At the same time, it is imperative that we not lose sight of the overall objective of improving the competitiveness of Stockstadt mill and securing its future.”

We very much regret that we are confronted with this situation and hope that the consultation period can be used to find jointly socially acceptable solutions

In the statement, Sappi Europe describes how it has experienced a continuing and accelerating structural drop in demand for coated papers in Europe. This has made it “impossible” for it to remain profitable in its current form.

While the company is currently working to find viable alternatives for Paper Machine 2, if the closure goes ahead, its entire production output - which equates to around 240,000 tonnes per annum of coated graphic paper - will be relocated to other sites in Europe.

Of the 760 people currently employed at the mill, Sappi anticipates up to 150 positions could be impacted by the consultations. The firm assures that it “stands ready” to provide the necessary support.



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