New era to begin at Shotton mill

Jo Francis
Thursday, September 30, 2021

UPM has confirmed that newsprint production has ceased at its Shotton mill on Deeside, ahead of the mill’s conversion under its new owner.

PM2 at Shotton will be converted by new owner Eren
PM2 at Shotton will be converted by new owner Eren

UPM announced last year that it planned to sell Shotton and the sale to Eren Paper, a UK subsidiary of Turkish firm Modern Karton Sanayi Ve Ticarate, was agreed in May.

Modern Karton is the containerboard and corrugated packaging business owned by Turkish industrial conglomerate Eren Holding.

Winfried Schaur, executive vice president of UPM Communication Papers, said it was important to note that the business would remain “firmly rooted as a paper supplier in the United Kingdom”.

He thanked the employees at Shotton for their commitment and professionalism, and said the support of local authorities and customers had been critical for its success. More than 180 people worked at the mill, which produced around 260,000 tonnes of newsprint per annum.

“I am therefore very happy that the upcoming transformation of the mill will provide a very positive long-term perspective for the people at Shotton and for the region as such. The transparent and reliable collaboration with Eren over the past months is a very solid foundation for this future development. It is important to highlight, that UPM Communication Papers will remain firmly rooted as a paper supplier in the United Kingdom going forward,” he stated. 

Shotton’s Renewable Energy Generation plant, and Material Recovery and the Recycling Facility (MRRF), which employ a further 231 people, will continue operations throughout the conversion process, “corresponding to their role in the regional utility infrastructure”, UPM noted.

UPM’s sole remaining mill in the UK is Caledonian Paper in Scotland, which makes LWC magazine paper. 

The group said it would continue to supply UK customers with “the full portfolio of newsprint, magazine and fine paper grades”, and will also continue to source recycled paper from the UK.

Eren Paper takes over from tomorrow (1 October) and will convert the mill to produce cardboard. It was a condition of the sale that it would not continue to produce newsprint. 

Seven years ago UPM shut down PM1 at Shotton, leaving the site with a single paper machine. 

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