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Sappi to Permanently Close Kangas Mill in Finland

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Sappi Fine Paper Europe, Brussels, Belgium, this past week announced the shutdown of its Kangas paper mill in Finland. Permanent closure of the mill is expected to take place no later than the early part of the first calendar quarter of 2010. Sappi Finland I Oy reports that it concluded an agreement with its Kangas mill employee representatives this week, which specifies redundancy terms and includes provisions for outplacement and training support for all employees, "to ensure that people have the best possible opportunity to secure new employment." The Kangas site employs some 150 people.

The plant has operated in Finland for 137 years. "We recognize this is a difficult decision affecting our employees, their families, and the communities surrounding the mill," said Berry Wiersum, CEO of Sappi Fine Paper Europe. "Unfortunately this action was necessary to address the impact of the global recession, which has caused a structural drop in demand for mechanical coated paper." Sappi, together with local municipalities, says it is investigating possible use of the site as an industrial area in the future.

The Kangas mill Galerie Silk range will be supplied to customers from the Sappi Lanaken mill in Belgium and a complementary grade, Galerie Fine Silk, will be introduced from the Sappi Kirkniemi mill, thereby widening Sappi's coated magazine paper range. There will be no supply interruption to customers during the mill closure and transfer of production, the company notes.


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