Can Maine’s bankrupt paper mills still attract buyers to survive?

Can Maine’s bankrupt paper mills still attract buyers to survive?

Huge stacks of files are surely a thing of the past! Our inboxes have more emails lined up for work purpose than files on the table and the privilege of working with the paper is slowly being withdrawn from the world.

Most of the analysts believe that we are in the last leg of the plan of diminishing paper utilization and making the world a paper free place to work. Paper has always held special attention of the mankind be it writing letters, work or reports or sundry other aspects, paper has always captured our imaginations and in fact it has been the initial step to visualization.

The industry is facing a tough time with a steep decline in the demand of paper calling for shut down of major players in the industry or has put constraint on the production of paper.

With a decreasing demand, the industries are facing the challenge of incurring loss in excess. For most orthodox players, competing with fast growing and exceptionally cheap eucalyptus pulp from South America is extremely difficult.

The digital age has greatly affected the production and utilization of paper. No wonder one of the historic commodities is on the verge of losing its sheen forever. 

The mills are also facing challenges that can’t be overcome more over because of the transition.

Consider the Maine paper industry; it has been bearing the brunt of weak demand, inflated energy costs and nonetheless foreign competition, impacting its workforce cut by half since 2000.

Back in 2000, paper manufacturing employed 12,847 people in Maine and 6,913 by 2012, according to data provided by the state Department of Labor. This shows the impact was foreseen and what is happening now is only an outcome of the situations and instances the industry is facing.

The Verso Paper mill in Bucksport, at present lies teary eyed searching for a new financer who can take up the job of re-filling the mill so that it can meet the global requirements.

The former owner of the mill failed to produce paper with the cutting edge technology and hence the mill faced a decrease in demands and further leading to all-round losses.

The situation has been put to frame with the local governor and the state’s government. The immediate consideration is to find a suitable buyer who can mend it for Verso Paper mill.

 The veterans call it a sad event and the ones associated are in vain that the star-industry accounting for 47% of revenues in Bucksport would soon be unaccountable in that case.

This is set to reduce Verso’s annual coated ground wood paper production capacity by about 350,000 tons and its specialty paper production capacity by about 55,000 tons, or about 39 percent of Verso’s output in Maine. Its Androscoggin Mill in Jay produces more than twice the amount of pulp as the mill in Bucksport, and about one-third more paper.

The preference for the community is to find a suitable buyer who can re-incarnate the fate of the mill since its closure will affect many lives and the geography as well. And the prospects aren’t that hard either. There are certain areas that can be targeted for rekindling this facility.

Belief, that the future has good things to offer for the facility is strong among people of Bucksport. Veterans call it a momentarily annotation put up due to lack to demands and many call it a trend of shuttering down mills.

Whatever future the facility holds shall have a great impact in the lives of the locals banking on the mill for their livelihood. It is a responsibility of the government now to help find these skilled paper mill workers some employment where they can flourish to the same grade.

Rest, as they say, take it as it comes as for the Bucksport resident workers any water in the desert would do!

The number of ways in which paper is used is almost countless with something new being devised daily for everyday life. Thus the demand for each type of paper produced varies with time and usage.  One example is about the demand for coated and tissue paper which still remains strong owing to growing per capita consumption in developing countries.

Meanwhile, the US paper industry has witnessed a decline in demand for the past 15 years, the rate varying between 3 and 7% annually.

And it is during this period, newer and high efficient mills have been built particularly in Asia producing paper in greater volumes but with low costs when compared with ageing mills in the United States.

It is believed that shuttering factories still can find ways to survive with stakeholders including municipalities, industry leaders, and foresters sharing future/long term vision for the Maine's pulp and paper industry which had a mighty economic influence in building towns in the midst of Maine forests while transitioning countless Maine families into the middle class.

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