MADAWASKA, Maine – Lay-offs are expected after Twin Rivers Paper announced the closing of its number 3 paper machine in Madawaska.
“Our industry has undergone a great deal of change in the past decade, and we must continue to innovate and position Twin Rivers for the future,” said Chief Operating Officer John Reichert. “As part of our strategic repositioning, we have reviewed our papermaking assets and have initiated a substantial upgrade to the largest machine in the system, PM8, which will be completed in 2017. Additionally, this repositioning will result in the permanent closure of PM3 at the end of July, improving productivity across our operations.”
Twin Rivers plans to invest approximately $12 million in PM8 to dramatically enhance the machine’s capabilities and broaden the markets served by the largest asset in the Twin Rivers paper mill system. The rebuild will establish PM8 as one of the largest producers of lightweight technical packaging and label specialties in North America, ideally positioned to support strategic growth initiatives while strengthening the company’s industry-leading lineup of hybrid and freesheet lightweight publishing grades. The machine to be shut down, PM3, is one of the mill’s higher-cost machines – an older, slower and smaller machine that produces a variety of coated and uncoated grades.
“Twin Rivers does not take these decisions lightly, and we recognize they will impact employment for approximately 49 of our valued associates. We will work closely with these individuals and the unions to facilitate this transition, and provide whatever resources are available to assist them,” says Reichert. “At the same time, we have a responsibility to make strategic decisions for the future of the Company, our approximately 1000 associates and the 5,800 people who rely on Twin Rivers’ operations across the regions in which we operate.”
The proposed capital investment announced today brings to over $47 million the level of strategic capital investments to date since the transition of mill ownership in 2013. Twin Rivers operates three additional paper machines that manufacture a range of specialty packaging, label and publishing papers with options in fiber content, functional characteristics, aesthetics and sustainability. The company is known for rapid innovation and its commitment to co-development.