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Sappi Fine Paper Europe Considers Closing its Biberist Mill
Brussels, Belgium, 31 March 2011 - Sappi Fine Paper Europe (SPFE) is considering possible closure of its Biberist Mill in Switzerland in response to market conditions and sustained increases in input costs and begins consultations

As a result of continued overcapacity in the European coated and uncoated fine paper markets, it has not proved possible to recover the sharply increased costs of raw material and energy over recent years. Sappi has therefore undertaken a review of its European production activities.

Despite efforts to curb costs and gain better margins, Biberist mill has been unable to generate acceptable returns. Consequently, SFPE has today announced that it will enter into a consultation process with its Biberist mill employee representatives and social partners. The aim is to identify the best way of improving SFPE’s profitability, which may include a full closure of Biberist mill. The continued unrelenting increases in input costs and the excessive local energy prices, combined with the overcapacity in the European market have led to unacceptable returns for Sappi Fine Paper Europe and it therefore became necessary to review production capacity.

In the event that production at Biberist Mill does cease, customers for the coated fine paper products would be offered comparable products and services from other Sappi sites in Europe and no supply interruption would be anticipated. The uncoated product lines consisting of the Cento family of brands would be discontinued. The sales office in Switzerland will continue operations. 

If the closure of Biberist mill were to occur, Sappi would reduce its coated fine paper capacity by 435,000 tons and its uncoated fine paper capacity by 65,000 tons.  Should the mill close, approximately 550 employees would be affected.


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