Norske Skog this week announced that the Tasman Mill in Kawerau will cease production by 30 June 2021 and that the mill’s assets will be sold. As a result of the decision, employees at the Tasman Mill will be made redundant. The decision to cease production follows a detailed Strategic Review commissioned in September 2020 that looked at a wide range of possible future options for the mill.
Norske Skog’s Regional President, Eric Luck said the key reason for the decision was the ongoing secular decline of the newsprint industry, which had been further hastened by the impact of COVID-19 on Norske Skog and its customers. Mr Luck said the company will work with employees and their union representatives on the implementation plan for the closure of the mill with the aim of making the process as smooth as possible.
“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”.
“Norske Skog acknowledges the great efforts of our dedicated team of people at the Tasman Mill, unfortunately today’s announcement is a reflection of the challenges that our industry has faced”, Mr Luck said. The Tasman Mill commenced newsprint production in 1955 and has produced more than 15 million of tonnes of paper during its 66-year history.
Further coverage on the mill closure can be read here