Top stories of 2013: IP to close Courtland millPublished 4:25pm Monday, December 30, 2013
On Sept. 11, International Paper Co. announced the company would be closing its Courtland mill in Lawrence County, a decision that affected 1,100 jobs, many of which were Franklin County residents.
The Courtland mill is part of the company’s Printing and Communications Papers Business. The mill will shut down in stages with a full closure expected to be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2014. The mill closure will reduce IP’s North American uncoated and coated freesheet paper production capacity by 950,000 tons, of which 765,000 is uncoated freesheet.
“This decision to permanently close capacity is primarily being driven by demand decline for uncoated freesheet paper products in the United States,” Chief Executive Officer John Faraci said in a statement.
The Courtland Mill produces papers for forms, envelopes, labels, copiers, printers and magazines. The demand for uncoated freesheet in North America has been in decline since 1999 and has recently accelerated as consumers continue to switch to electronic alternatives such as online publications and electronic billing and filing, the company said in a release.
“These decisions are especially difficult because of the impact to long-serving and hard-working employees, their families and the surrounding communities,” Faraci said. “We explored numerous business and re-purposing options for the Courtland Mill, but concluded that permanently closing the mill best positions the business for the future.”