Norske Skog Tasman Announces Scale-down of Operations

On the 16 August, the Norske Skog Tasman mill (the Tasman mill) announced plans to reduce the capacity by 150,000 tonnes. The Tasman mill is currently a two machine operation making 300,000 tonnes of newsprint per year. A consultation process with the mill workforce has commenced and an update is expected early to mid September.

The company points to a dramatic decline in the newsprint consumption in both New Zealand and Australia and the corresponding increase in exports to Asia. The Tasman mill now exports more than ⅔ of its production to Asia and just three years ago this was less than 10%.

The combination of having a global over supply of newsprint, low Asian pricing, the high New Zealand dollar and high export volumes has resulted in a significant reduction in the mill's profitability and this situation is unsustainable.

The mill states that is remains committed to manufacturing of newsprint in the local market, the renewable energy projects (which include – generation and selling of geothermal energy, pellet manufacture, bio crude production) and to the Kawerau Industrial Symbiosis project.