International Paper to close Courtland mill; 1,100 jobs affected

International Paper Co. announced this morning that the company will be closing its Courtland mill in Lawrence County.

The Courtland mill is part of the company’s Printing and Communications Papers Business. The mill will shut down in stages with a full closure expected to be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2014. This mill closure will reduce IP’s North American uncoated and coated freesheet paper production capacity by 950,000 tons, of which 765,000 is uncoated freesheet.

“This decision to permanently close capacity is primarily being driven by demand decline for uncoated freesheet paper products in the United States,” Chief Executive Officer John Faraci said in a statement.

The Courtland Mill produces papers for forms, envelopes, labels, copiers, printers and magazines. The demand for uncoated freesheet in North America has been in decline since 1999 and has recently accelerated as consumers continue to switch to electronic alternatives such as online publications and electronic billing and filing, the company said in a release.

The mill will close by early next year. The Courtland facility employs more than 1,100 people.
“These decisions are especially difficult because of the impact to long-serving and hard-working employees, their families and the surrounding communities,” said International Paper Chairman and CEO, John Faraci. “This decision to permanently close capacity is primarily being driven by demand decline for uncoated freesheet paper products in the United States.”

“We explored numerous business and re-purposing options for the Courtland Mill, but concluded that permanently closing the mill best positions the business for the future,” said Printing and Communications Papers Senior Vice-President Tim Nicholls.

 

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