Verso Corporation, a leading producer of printing papers, specialty papers and pulp, announced plans to permanently shut down the No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment at its Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, USA. With the restructuring the company will reduce the annual coated paper production capacity at the mill by approximately 200,000 tons. The shutdown will be effective August 1, 2017 and is expected to be complete 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 in January of 2017 in response to declining customer demand that resulted in more coated paper capacity than could be filled. Most products made on the No. 3 paper machine were transitioned to lower-cost machines in other Verso mills. The permanent shutdown of the No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment will impact approximately 120 employees at the Androscoggin Mill.
B. Christopher DiSantis, Verso Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“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.
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.
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. “
In 1Q2017 Verso Corporation decreased Adjusted EBITDA margin to 4.2%.
Earlier Verso Corporation appointed a new CEO.
About Verso Corporation:
The company is a leading North American producer of printing papers, specialty papers and pulp. Its printing papers are designed primarily for commercial printing, media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs, books, direct mail, corporate collateral and retail inserts. Its specialty papers are used primarily for label and converting, flexible packaging and technical paper applications.