UPM to shut down PM10 later this month

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Monday 01 July 2019

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UPM has concluded the employee consultation process at its Plattling mill in Bavaria and will shut down paper machine 10 (PM10) later this month.

upm-plattling-mill

UPM's Plattling mill is in Bavaria, in south-east Germany

The manufacturer outlined its intentions to close PM10 in April, with the aim to further increase cost competitiveness of the paper business and reduce coated mechanical paper capacity in Europe by around 155,000 tonnes.

Plattling currently makes coated and uncoated LWC and SC magazine papers on three paper machines, PM1, PM10 and PM11. Its capacity at present is 785,000tpa.

The employee consultation processes were conducted in line with the local legislations and are now finalised.

UPM has now confirmed that PM10 will be permanently closed “by mid-July 2019” and that 155 jobs at the 590-staff mill will go as a result. Paper production on the remaining machines at Plattling will be continued.

“The recent weeks have not been easy for the employees at our Plattling site. We are therefore pleased to have led a constructive and fair consultation process to a conclusion which helps diminish the impact of the closure,” said UPM Communication Papers senior vice president for magazines, merchants and office business Ruud van den Berg.

“We regret this decision but remain convinced that it will support the competitiveness of both UPM Communication Papers as well as the remaining assets at the Plattling site in the long run. The discipline and commitment of our employees in Plattling during the process has been remarkable.” 

UPM previously stated that PM10 is the lowest capacity coated mechanical machine across all of its European papermaking operations, as well as having the “highest technical age”.

While the closure of the machine will involve restructuring charges of around €30m (£26.8m), UPM said the move will result in savings of approximately €17m a year.

This further reduction in capacity comes at a time when a number of other paper manufacturers, including Stora Enso, Lecta, Burgo and Sappi are in the process of machine closures or conversions.

UPM’s forest-based bioindustry businesses include pulp, paper, wood, biofuels and biomaterials. The Finland-headquartered group had overall sales of €10.5bn last year.

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