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Norske Skog to close the Tasman mill in New Zealand and sell mill assets, 160 staff to lose jobs

NEW ZEALAND (From news reports) -- Norske Skog will close its Tasman Mill at the end of June, with 160 staff to be made redundant.

The Norwegian-based pulp and paper company had met with employees in May to begin consulting on the future of the operation.

The decision to cease production on June 30 followed a Strategic Review which was commissioned in September last year.

Eric Luck, Norske Skog's Regional President, said the ongoing secular decline of the newsprint industry had been the key reason for the decision.

"I know that today's decision is disappointing and sad for many people. It's the end of an era, but the structural change in the newsprint industry provided no viable alternative for paper production at Tasman.

"The domestic market for newsprint has shrunk considerably and so too have export markets. Covid-19 has hastened the decline.

"Unfortunately today's announcement is a reflection of the challenges that our industry has faced."

The Tasman Mill commenced newsprint production in 1955 and has produced more than 15 million of tonnes of paper during its 66-year history.

Luck said Norske Skog would work to conclude the sale process of the mill's assets as quickly as possible.

"I would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has worked at and for the mill over the last 66 years. It has certainly been an important contributor to the local and national economy," Luck said.

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