End of the line for SCA publication paper

Ortviken had been one of the world’s largest publication paper mills
Ortviken had been one of the world’s largest publication paper mills

SCA will make its last reel of publication paper today as the group shuts down the last remaining paper machine at its Ortviken mill.

Last August the Swedish forestry group announced that it would cease paper production at what is its last remaining publication grade mill. The Ortviken site will be converted to the production of chemically pre-treated thermo-mechanical pulp (CTMP).

PM5, which made uncoated paper for newspapers and magazines, ceased production on 20 January. LWC1, which made coated publication paper, was stopped on 4 February. 

PM4/LWC4 will make its last roll of paper this afternoon (25 February). 

Paul McCarthy, managing director at SCA Graphic Paper UK, said it was a sad day but he was extremely proud about the way SCA had handled the situation. 

“It’s part of the industry and has to be done. SCA are doing it all in the right way. We stopped taking orders a couple of months ago, and it has all been completely allocated. We are clearing our warehouse now,” he explained. 

“Customers have been amazing, and so supportive of the staff and the company.”

McCarthy also paid tribute to Ortviken mill manager Magnus Kangas, who wears black to work on the days that machines are shut down to symbolise the sadness of the event. 

“He is a really good guy. It shows great leadership without any words,” McCarthy added. 

McCarthy said he hoped that members of the UK publications team would find new roles within the industry, with various talks underway about future opportunities. He will leave the business on 31 March. 

Sales manager Neil Coleman is set to join Denmaur Media in publication sales at the beginning of April.

“We are looking forward to welcoming him on board. Neil has good experience and is well-liked, and he’ll be an additional person on our media team,” said Denmaur Paper Media managing director Nick Gee. 

Technical sales manager Bruce Lord plans to offer his services on a freelance/consultancy basis when he leaves. 

The SCA UK publications business employs six people in sales and technical roles, with a further five employees involved with logistics who are set to depart in August. 

Ortviken had been one of the world’s largest publication paper mills with an annual capacity of up to 800,000 tonnes. The mill started production in 1958.

SCA said the investment in CTMP production had started and the group would start production in early 2023. A production line for the recycling of textile fibres is also being built at the site. 

The changes form part of a huge restructure of paper making capacity across a number of major manufacturers, including Stora Enso’s conversion of its Oulu mill to packaging board, which spelled the end for its Lumi range.