WestRock will permanently shut down one of the mill’s three paper machines as part of the reconfiguration
Paper and packaging solutions provider WestRock has unveiled plans to redesign its paper mill located in North Charleston, South Carolina, US.
The company has decided to reconfigure the paper mill for the improvement of its operating efficiency and long-term competitiveness.
Under the reconfiguration, WestRock will permanently close one of the mill’s three paper machines and related physical infrastructure, helping to eliminate around 288,000 tonnes of linerboard capacity.
The reconfigured paper mill will produce three grades
The production capacity of the reconfigured mill will be around 605,000 tonnes per annum. The reconfigured mill will produce three grades such as kraft linerboard, KraftPak and DuraSorb.
KraftPak is an unbleached folding carton kraft paper, while DuraSorb is a saturating kraft paper used for decorative laminate and industrial end uses.
WestRock CEO Steve Voorhees said: “The actions that we are taking at our North Charleston mill will substantially improve the long-term competitiveness of the mill by reducing our on-going operating costs and capital needs, and focusing more than half of the mill’s production on the high-value, differentiated DuraSorb and KraftPak products.
“Reducing the production of linerboard at this mill will help balance our supply with customer demand across our system.”
WestRock is expecting that the reconfiguration will increase its annual EBITDA by around $40m, as a result of the reduction in operating costs from the shutdown of the paper machine and its associated infrastructure.
The reconfiguration is also expected to result in the reduction of around 260 positions at the mill over a five-month period, starting January 2020.
Voorhees further added: “Our teams are working to provide support and resources to our employees and their families as we move forward.”
WestRock provides paper and packaging solutions to the customers across the world from locations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.