Norske Skog cuts jobs at Tasman Mill

Norway's Norske Skog - the world's second biggest producer of newsprint - says one of its two paper machines at the Tasman Mill at Kawerau will close as of today with the loss of 110 jobs.

The company first announced its intention to shut one machine last September, following a review of its newsprint capacity in Australasia.

The remaining Tasman machine will continue to produce newsprint predominantly for the New Zealand and Australian markets, Norske Skog said in a statement.

Over the last four months, management had worked closely with employees, unions and other stakeholders on the detailed closure arrangements, including a mill-wide restructuring programme, the company said.

"As a result of these discussions and significant redeployment within the mill, the final number of redundancies will be around 110, compared to the previous media reports of 130," it said.

The redundancies would occur over the next three to four months.

"As is widely understood, this decision has been brought about by global market forces within our industry and no-one is to blame," Peter McCarty, general manager of the Tasman Mill, said.

The second paper machine had operated successfully for over 50 years.

"The challenge for our mill and our remaining machine is to be a low cost producer of quality newsprint and we are well positioned to meet this challenge," he said.

"We will also be looking to successfully leverage off this base to seize new opportunities that will invariably come along in the future," he said.

A spokesmen for the the union covering the plant, the EPMU, declined to comment to APNZ on the machine's closure.

Norske Skog has the widest geographical spread of all the paper producers, with mills 11 countries on all continents except Africa.


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