Miamisburg, Ohio, USA, 12 October 2009 – NewPage Corporation today announced that it plans to take approximately 160,000 tons of market-related downtime in the fourth quarter of 2009. Specific operating and curtailment plans, and timing, are still being developed and will be implemented across the NewPage mill system to best satisfy customer commitments. This plan is expected to include the indefinite shutdown of the No. 63 paper machine at the Whiting, Wisconsin, mill.
“We continue to operate in a very challenging environment, and remain committed to running our operations efficiently as we balance production and demand,” said Rick Willett, president and chief executive officer for NewPage. “Though we are announcing that No. 63 paper machine will be curtailed in fourth quarter, we will continue to support our lightweight coated groundwood customers at the Biron, Wisconsin, and Rumford, Maine, mills where we recently expanded our capabilities to produce these products.”
NewPage, in addition to other U.S. coated paper manufacturers, has struggled in the face of surging low-priced imports from China and Indonesia, on top of the general economic downturn. The domestic market has eroded because of trade practices that have forced U.S. producers to take market-related downtime and close numerous paper machines, resulting in thousands of job losses. As a result, NewPage, along with other U.S. paper producers and the United Steelworkers (USW), recently filed antidumping and countervailing duty cases covering certain types of coated paper that are being imported into the U.S. from China and Indonesia in violation of international trade rules.
“We are hopeful that the trade cases will restore a level playing field in the market for coated papers,” Willett added. “We plan to restart the No. 63 machine in Whiting, Wisconsin, as well as the No. 10 machine in Rumford, Maine, that was idled in September, as soon as market conditions allow."
Headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, NewPage Corporation is the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America, based on production capacity, with USD 4.4 billion in net sales for the year ended 31 December 2008. The company’s product portfolio is the broadest in North America and includes coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered, newsprint, and specialty papers. NewPage owns paper mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin in the United States, and in Nova Scotia, Canada. These mills have a total annual production capacity of approximately 4.4 million tons of paper, including approximately 3.2 million tons of coated paper, approximately 1.0 million tons of uncoated paper, and approximately 200,000 tons of specialty paper. To learn more about NewPage Corporation, visit www.NewPageCorp.com.