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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/10/2003 6:23:35 PM EST
Due to the sluggish economy (for the last 3 years) and the tremendous increase in the price of Natural Gas our local mill is closing.

The "idling" will affect 600+ employees and will last until ???

Our town has a population of about 32,000 and the mill is one of the largest employers around.

They have been running for a month or so and shutting down for a month or so for about 18 months now.

The name of the company is Abitibi and i am not sure how many mills they own here in the US or how many in Canada?

Anyone else have a papermill nearby?

Just curious if everyone of them are "on again off again".

Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:34:01 PM EST
International paper is here, always running. They also treat lumber, Im not sure of what else.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:36:42 PM EST
Our Paper mill in East Houston was shut down a couple years ago.. A Canadian company bought them out.. ran the mill for a few years, then closed it down. Affected about the same amount of workers.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:40:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By realist: Our Paper mill in East Houston was shut down a couple years ago.. A Canadian company bought them out.. ran the mill for a few years, then closed it down. Affected about the same amount of workers.
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Was that the Sheldon mill?
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:32:59 PM EST
I haven't kept track of the pulp market, but from what I remember, pulp prices have sucked since 1995. There may have been an upswing since then, but I don't think so, b/c primary forest products operations (at least in OR) are not pushing for chips like they might have a decade or more ago. For example, I used to work at the largest plywood mill in N. America. I don't think we operated our whole log chipper at all, save for grinding up logs that were too defective to be made into plywood. FWIW, I was logging earlier this summer on land that the guy who owns Random Lengths or Crows. These two publications essentially follow market trends and publish average wood products prices in a weekly newsletter, and these two publications are the industry standard. In other words, they should be up on forest products as much as anyone in the world. They predicted that lumber prices, summer 2003 were going in the tank. Guess what, they DIDN'T. My take home message: An industry as volatile as the forest products/pulp industry is very very difficult to predict. But I can say one thing. You can bet that all the industry players HAVE to minimize costs to an absolute minimum. If you work in the forest products industry as a grunt, expect layoffs. Forest products everywhere are very marginal things to be involved with. There are people out there with an idea of how international trends will affect US pulp prices. I am not one of them, and I would not entirely trust their prognostications. Bet on the intermittent layoffs to continue.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:04:27 AM EST
I know all the paper or plastic bags affect it some. Has anyone invented a plastic toilet paper that I don't know about? Someone mentioned NAFTA and some sort of tariff or no tariff deal but I don't know about it. BigDozer66
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:16:51 AM EST
Abitibi is known for newsprint paper. I'm not sure what the mill near you actually makes. The newsprint market is very volitile. Now that all the paper has been made for the holiday sales flyers, they may shut down for a while until the market uses what's on hand. Unless that mill is so old as to need a complete rebuild, they may just shut down to do maintenence, install a new mavhine or just wait for the market to rebound.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 10:36:40 AM EST
Never really heard of a mill going on and off a month at a time. It seems to me that startup cost alone would make that extremely stupid. My famly works in the forest products industry... Ive seen mills depending on the prices do extended shutdowns during the holidays or maby cutting a shift but not actually turning the ligts out on a regular basis. For example the mill my dad works at oprated at a loss for a year untill the plywood market came back here fairly recently. it can cost a company hundreds of thousands a month to sit on an idle mill. They figued it would cost them less to just run the mill at a loss than to actually shut it down and do a restart. And now that prices are sky high theyve made that money back and then some. Tho I admit im not really up on the Paper market. All the GP mills around here have been running full time. I havent ever seen on/off around here but I have heard of it with smaller companys in other areas. I dont think any of the big players do it. GP IP or wyerhauser
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 12:00:12 PM EST
Just across the state line in Georgia the paper mill in St.Marys closed about a year or two ago.I knew a guy who had worked there for 20 yrs,he lost all his pension.Here in Jacksonville one of the Smurfit Stone mills is going to close.Couple of months ago I talked to a guy that worked there and he said they were implementing "Cost Cutting" measures.He said in every mill Smurfit Stone has done this they've always ended up shutting down the mill. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.Good Luck!!!!
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:21:55 PM EST
Re: major companies not shutting down. Negatory. This happens all the time. Yes there are fixed costs that you have to eat when you shut down, but if the losses are greater if you continue to operate, guess what? For example, Louisian Pacific, based in Portland OR just announced today that they will have a rolling 45 day shut down for at least 8 of their OSB panel mills. Of course, they will be conducting scheduled maintenance, equipment upgrades and the like, but that is scant comfort when you are a line grunt who has already used up the alloted vacation days. In the case of OSB, and I-Joist, I believe that there is a substantial overcapacity in production. Everyone scurried onto the OSB and I-joist bandwagon (for good reason), and now the market is saturated, depressing prices and eliminating profits. Plants definitely do shut down, reconfigure, or otherwise radically shift their production strategy. If they don't they vanish pretty quick. The mill I worked for went from three 10 hour shifts on it's layup area to four 8 hours, increasing utilization. Market went down, and they reduced capacity again back to 3 10s. Unless you have family contacts with management, or unless you just love wood products, I would strongly recommend anyone against a career in forest products. Frankly, there is blood in the water here.
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