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Sonoco to shutter Trent Valley, Ont. paper mill


April 15, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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Sonoco is permanently closing its Trent Valley paper mill in Quinte West, Ontario, affecting 106 jobs.

The mill, which produces recycled uncoated paperboard and recycled linerboard, will shut down on June 12, 2020.

In a brief statement, the company says the closure is due to market conditions. Those conditions existed before the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further exacerbated the slowing in demand.

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Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the union representing 81 workers at the Trent Valley paper mill, expressed disappointment about the Ontario mill’s closure in a statement.

The union has asked Ontario Premier Doug Ford to create a provincial strategy for the forestry sector.

“Without a strategy to retain key employers and support forestry communities, we could unfortunately see more jobs lost as corporations see Ontario as a less appealing place to operate,” says Dias.

Closure tied to investment in U.S. operations

News of the Trent Valley closure came alongside an announcement that Sonoco will invest $83 million to improve its uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) mill system in Hartsville, South Carolina.

The company will transform Hartsville’s No. 10 corrugated medium machine into a URB machine with annual capacity of 180,000 tons.

As a result of the machine conversion, Sonoco will no longer be in the corrugated medium market by the end of 2021. The high-speed fourdinier machine is expected to be online by early 2022.