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Sappi to close Stockstadt Mill early 2024

After a three-month consultation process, Sappi is to close its Stockstadt Mill early 2024

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A consultation process is now underway for Sapppi’s Lanaken Mill

On July 6th, 2023, global pulp and paper-based solutions company, Sappi, began a consultation process on the possible closure of its Stockstadt Mill. This process took three months and has now resulted in the planned closure of the site during Q1 of 2024.

The company has cited “the persistent global economic downturn proving to be much tougher than anticipated with depressed markets, geopolitical instability, and weak economic growth combining” as causing pressure.

As a result, a sale has been signed for the site with the impact expected to be cash neutral once all closure elements are accounted for.

With the significant overcapacity in graphic paper forcing Sappi to take extended periods of costly commercial downtime, the company has also now commenced a consultation process on the future of its Lanaken Mill.

Marco Eikelenboom, chief executive officer of Sappi Europe, comments: “These are globally challenging times and Sappi Europe is faced with overcapacity in graphic paper forcing us to take extended periods of costly commercial downtime. As the recent over-stocking by customers reduces, it has become very clear that demand will not return to previous levels. 

“Combined with input cost pressure, we do not see this situation, caused by factors beyond our control improving in the foreseeable future. We have therefore decided to inform both the Mill Management and the Works Council that we are today starting the consultation process on the potential closure of the Lanaken Mill.”

In line with this, Eikelenboom adds that the company is assessing how best to reduce overall fixed and overhead costs. 

Looking forward, Sappi says it remains focused on building a sustainably resilient company and this requires evaluating the future of all areas of its business. 

Steve Binnie, chief executive officer of Sappi Limited, adds: “Sappi continues to position itself for growth and increased profitability in line with our group Thrive25 strategic focus. This includes reducing exposure to the graphic paper segment while expanding Sappi’s presence in  packaging, speciality papers, pulp and biomaterials. 

“Recent investments across our South African, American and European operating businesses demonstrate this priority. We will therefore continue to review the viability of all our operations and make changes when necessary.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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