Verso shuts down No. 3 paper machine at Maine mill
By P&PC Staff
By P&PC Staff
Aug. 1, 2017 – Verso Corp. is planning to permanently shut down the No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment at its Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, reducing annual coated paper production capacity at the mill by approximately 200,000 tons.
Effective today, the shutdown is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2017.
The No. 3 paper machine and a recovery boiler and digester that support it were idled this January in “response to declining customer demand that resulted in more coated paper capacity than could be filled,” according to a statement from Verso, noting that most products made on the No. 3 paper machine were transitioned to lower-cost machines in other Verso mills.
“Verso is leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to move the company toward sustained profitability in a market where customer demand for our graphic paper products continues to decline,” said Verso CEO B. Christopher DiSantis. “Consistently matching the supply of our graphic paper products with customer demand for them, dramatically reducing our costs and rapidly diversifying our product portfolio into growing markets are essential keys to Verso’s future success, and we’re relentlessly pursuing all three across the company. Although the footprint of the Androscoggin Mill is getting smaller, we continue to take steps to position the facility as a leading producer for the growing specialty papers market.”
Roughly 120 employees at the mill will be affected by the permanent shutdown of the No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment. Verso says affected employees will receive severance in accordance with its severance policy and Maine state law.
“While permanently closing this capacity is the right strategic decision for Verso as a whole, we are mindful of the effects this action will have on the people at the Androscoggin Mill who are directly affected, and we are committed to treating them with fairness, dignity and respect during this difficult time,” DiSantis said. “On behalf of the entire Verso team, I want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to them for their dedicated service and many contributions to the mill and to our company.”