White Birch Paper to cease newsprint production at Bear Island facility in Virginia
12 March 2019
White Birch Paper will cease production of newsprint effective immediatly at the Bear Island facility in Ashland, Virginia, as Midland Paper, Packaging + Supplies reported.
White Birch sold the mill to Cascades in July of 2018, and leased the mill back with the intention of making newsprint for a two-year period. The mill had an annual capacity of approximately 240,000 MT per year of newsprint and employed just over 140 people.
Christopher Brant, President of White Birch Paper, said: “The idea and attempt to keep the employees of Bear Island active through the mill’s transition in ownership and grade production has come to an unfortunate and premature end. We walked into this project believing that the U.S. trade actions surrounding the uncoated groundwood paper business made the mill’s output a necessity for customers in the U.S. market for the two years planned. A challenging restart of the mill and zero-tariff environment have forced us to weight the viability of continuing production amidst waning market support for the mill and the perceived advantages it has to offer.”
White Birch Paper will turn over control of the facility to Cascades in the coming months as it continues to plan for the potential conversion of the mill in the future.