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Paper Recycling July 10, 2020 03:00:41 PM

Maine Paper Mill Shutdowns Lead to 130 Layoffs

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Earlier on Thursday, Sappi had declared shut down of paper machine No.9 and major components of the biomass energy complex at the Westbrook mill.

Maine Paper Mill Shutdowns Lead to 130 Layoffs

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Sappi North America has announced its decision to cut 30% of its workforce, following shutdown of its Westbrook paper machine. Also, the stoppage of pulp operation at Pixelle Specialty Solutions’ Jay mill will lead to layoff of dozens of workers. Combined, these actions will likely impact 130 jobs.

Earlier on Thursday, Sappi had declared shut down of paper machine No.9 and major components of the biomass energy complex at the Westbrook mill. The company had cited that increased market competition and costly mill infrastructure has been keeping the mill’s earnings under pressure. The shutdown, which will impact 75 jobs, will be completed by the end of this year. The production at the mill will be shifted to its other mills in Cloquet, Minnesota and Skowhegan.

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Pixelle Specialty Solutions will initially lay off nearly 60 workers, equivalent to almost 12% of its total workforce. This first round of layoffs will be completed by next week. It has hinted at chances of further staff reductions at the mill. The company had put pulp making operations on a halt, following the explosion at the mill in April. Now, it has decided to focus on paper making operations, thus leading to realignment of staff.

The shutdowns and job losses are considered as a huge blow to Maine’s forest products industry.

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