Boise Inc. is idling 2 production lines at its mill in International Falls, Minnesota, just over the border from Fort Frances, Ontario.
265 workers will be permanently laid off by October 1. 580 employees will remain at the mill. The mill’s timber consumption will also be slightly reduced, impacting local loggers.
By closing 2 of the mill’s 4 paper machines and an off-machine coater, Boise aims to improve the cost competitiveness of its paper business.
Boise’s President and CEO, Alexander Toeldte, said, “These closures, which we expect to occur no later than fourth quarter 2013, will reduce our annual uncoated freesheet capacity by approximately 115,000 tons, or 9%, and allow us to focus our efforts on key products and machines that drive our profitability, improve our cash flow, and enhance the overall competitiveness of our International Falls mill and our Paper business. This decision will result in the loss of approximately 300 jobs. We understand the impact this decision has on our dedicated employees, as well as the community of International Falls. We appreciate their efforts and support over the years.”
With these closure, Boise will no longer have to purchase pulp for the mill. The remaining 580 employees will operate the two paper machines (making uncoated white office paper), and produce pulp for the two paper machines.
The Mayor of International Falls, Bob Anderson, said the news came as a complete surprise today. He said every business in town, as well as in Fort Frances and northern Minnesota will be impacted.
Source: Boise Inc.
Major Layoffs at the Boise Mill (CKDR Dryden)
Boise to cut 300 jobs, close 2 paper machines in International Falls (Duluth News Tribune)