International Paper today announced the company will close its Terre Haute, Ind., containerboard mill in the fourth quarter of this year.
"We have been thoroughly studying options for the Terre Haute mill over the last two years," said Dennis Colley, vice president and general manager of International Paper's containerboard business. "The mill's relatively small size and high manufacturing costs hindered its long-term competitiveness, and ultimately have led to our decision to close the mill."
Colley said salaried employees would receive severance pay and benefits, and the company would bargain the effects of the closure with the union. "While we realize a decision to close the mill is not the news employees want to hear, our goal is to provide outplacement assistance that will help address employees' needs as they transition to new employment," Colley said.
In July 2005, as part of its transformation plan, International Paper began a study of options for strengthening its containerboard business, including the possible sale or closure of the Terre Haute mill. The company explored options to sell the mill, but ultimately, the same limitations that made continued operations unfeasible made sale unfeasible as well.
Within the next few months, the mill will begin preparing for closure, allowing ample time to smoothly transition customers.
The Terre Haute mill employs approximately 170 people and annually produces approximately 200,000 tons of medium, a type of paperboard used in corrugated packaging. The mill began operation in 1917, and was acquired by International Paper in 1998 as part of the company's acquisition of Westin Wabash Co.