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Sappi to cease production at Lanaken Mill

The company has taken action in response to the challenges taking place in the global economy

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Sappi says the priority of the European business will be to grow its packaging and speciality products

Supplier of paper and paper pulp, Sappi has concluded its consultation process regarding its Sappi Lanaken Mill which has ceased paper production.

The mill was an integrated pulp and paper mill located in Belgium and employed 581 workers in a site that produced 530,000 tpa of coated woodfree paper which was sold into the European print market.

Sappi announced the start of the consultation process on the possible closure back in October 2023. Since then, the production of paper ended in December 2023 and an agreed social plan for employees has been made.

The closure of the site is expected to be complete by the second calendar quarter of 2024 with the financial impacts of the closure will be included in the company’s first quarter financial results.

Speaking about the company’s objectives, Sappi says: “Our strategic focus includes reducing exposure to the graphic paper segment while expanding our presence in packaging, speciality papers, pulp, and biomaterials. 

“Sappi Europe is focused on building a sustainably resilient company. This requires evaluating the future of all facets of the business based on market dynamics and the market segments Sappi believes will be strongest in the future.”

The company says that the persistent global economic challenges have been tougher than anticipated and have caused much instability and weak economic growth particularly in Europe.

Sappi adds that it will continue to serve the graphic paper market through its competitive assets but will overall prioritise the packaging and speciality segments of its European business. This includes products in flexible packaging, functional papers, and self-adhesives.

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