NORWAY (News release) -- Sven Ombudstvedt, CEO of Norske Skog, comments: "Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety for our employees. We are now registering some effects on our operations because of lower economic activity and restrictive measures taken by national authorities due to the coronavirus. We will do our utmost to secure raw material supply and maintain production to secure customer deliveries. We continue to monitor the situation day-to-day and will over the coming weeks communicate closely with suppliers, customers, other stakeholders and the financial market."
Norske Skog will adjust operational activity to market response, and will therefore implement the following necessary actions as a result of the corona virus situation:
In France, the Golbey mill has temporary ceased production at one paper machine (PM2) due to one confirmed case of coronavirus at the PM2 line, which required a 14 day quarantine for co-workers. The PM2 is planned to start production again on 1 April. The scarce availability of recovered paper in Central Europe may cause further business interruptions.
In Norway, Saugbrugs will cease production on one paper machine due to negative market developments as a result of the corona virus restrictions. As a result of this, there will be given notice of temporary layoffs. In addition, administrative personnel at headquarters has been temporarily laid off as a result of the corona situation. The Skogn mill will delay temporary layoffs as earlier announced.
In Australasia, the production at the Tasman mill in New-Zealand has been deemed an essential industry by the national government for a limited period of 9 days production, out of the current period of four weeks with lock down restrictions. Nature's Flame pellets production has been deemed essential for domestic, industrial and public heating. However, there may be uncertainty about supplies of raw materials as local saw mills ceased their operations. We are currently rearranging our supply chain in the entire Australasian region to reflect the situation.