NewPage Holdings Inc. has announced that, based on current product demand, it has decided to indefinitely idle the No. 12 paper machine at the Rumford, ME mill by mid-February 2014. The No. 12 paper machine manufactures approximately 300 tons of coated paper per day used primarily for magazines, catalogs and commercial printing applications.
"Specific operating plans, as well as timing and the number of jobs affected, are still being developed and will be implemented across the NewPage platform while satisfying customer commitments," stated Mark Lukacs, senior vice president of operations for NewPage. "We sincerely regret having to make this announcement because of the impact to our employees. We will be working with our Rumford management team to minimize the effects to our employees."
"We continue to operate in a weak commercial environment and needed to take action," said George Martin, president and chief executive officer for NewPage. As reported by the Pulp and Paper Products Council or PPPC, North American coated paper market continues to be under pressure due to the continued year-over-year decline of coated shipments and significant increase in imports from Western Europe.
"We remain committed to running our operations in the most efficient manner possible as we balance our production to customer demand," added Lukacs. "Based on customer demand, this downtime is necessary to maintain that balance. Our flexible mill system enables us to fully service our customers' needs going forward. We will continue to consider the need for additional downtime as demand conditions unfold."