Sappi to permanently close PM9 at Westbrook mill, Maine

Photo: Sappi

Sappi North America is laying off dozens of employees at its Westbrook mill, the company announced Thursday. Sappi said it is permanently shutting down Paper Machine 9 and the majority of the energy complex at its mill.

The move is designed to improve the mill's overall cost structure and enable the company to operate more cost effectively in today's global marketplace. The company's product offerings will not change.

Sappi plans to shift all of PM9's base paper production to its mills in Cloquet, Minnesota and Skowhegan, Maine. This carousel of base paper leverages Sappi North America's premium paper making assets and continues to provide an integrated solution to our global Release Paper customer base.

"As a global manufacturer of innovative wood fiber products, a good cost position is important to our long-term success," said Mike Haws, President and CEO of Sappi North America. "Unfortunately, the Westbrook Mill's earnings have been under pressure as a result of widespread commoditization in the marketplace and legacy mill costs. This restructuring will enable Sappi to compete more effectively and allow the Westbrook facility to focus on its core competencies of specialty coating, texture application and customized product designs, restoring the site as a healthy financial contributor."