International Paper Opts to Keep Pineville, Louisiana, Mill Operational
Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 12 June 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- International Paper (NYSE: IP) today announced that its Pineville, Louisiana, containerboard mill will remain operational. The decision is the outcome of an extensive two-year study of options to strengthen the company's North American containerboard business.
The company had explored alternatives, including possible closure, for the Pineville containerboard mill as part of its transformation plan, announced in 2005. However, the mill has achieved dramatic cost improvement in the past two years, and is now among the most globally cost efficient mills in the system. With global box demand expected to grow at a healthy rate, keeping Pineville as part of the containerboard system will allow the company to further integrate its box businesses in Europe and Asia.
Since announcing its company-wide transformation plan, International Paper has closed two containerboard mills in Groveton, New Hampshire, and Fort Madison, Iowa, and plans to close its 200,000-ton Terre Haute, Indiana, mill in the fourth quarter of this year. In addition, the company is converting its mill in Pensacola, Florida, from printing paper to 500,000 tons per year of low-cost, lightweight linerboard production. The project is expected to be completed later this year.
"These changes will increase the company's containerboard capacity in 2007 by approximately 300,000 tons, most of which will be absorbed by the company's internal container business in Europe and Asia," said Dennis Colley, vice president and general manager of International Paper's containerboard business.
"These plants have historically purchased their lightweight containerboard on the open market within their own regions. The addition of the Pensacola mill production will allow us to use our containerboard system to supply lightweight board to our box plants all around the globe, while the amount of board sold in North America will remain flat," Colley said.
"As always, we will continue to match our production to our customers' demands, while continuing to reduce our manufacturing costs to strengthen our competitiveness," he added.
The Pineville mill was acquired by International Paper in 1979. The mill today employs approximately 226 people. The mill produces containerboard for corrugated packaging to supply produce, agricultural, poultry and industrial customers.
International Paper (NYSE: IP), founded in 1898, is a global uncoated paper and packaging company with primary markets and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Russia, Latin America, Asia, and North Africa. Its uncoated papers and packaging businesses are complemented by xpedx, North America's largest distributor of printing papers and graphics supplies and equipment. Headquartered in the United States, International Paper employs approximately 54,000 people in more than 20 countries, and serves customers worldwide. Annual sales are about USD 22 billion. International Paper partners with customers and environmental, academic, civic and governmental organizations, as well as landowners and harvesting professionals, to encourage responsible forest stewardship, improve the health and productivity of forestlands, and increase recovery of our recyclable products. The company has a long-standing policy of using no wood from endangered forests. To learn more about International Paper, its products and commitment to economic, social, and environmental sustainability, visit www.internationalpaper.com.
Source: International Paper