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Future of Kawerau paper mill uncertain

The future of another major industrial operation is under review because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Norwegian forest products company Norske Skog is reviewing the future of its Tasman newsprint mill at Kawerau. Source: istock.com

Norwegian forest products company Norske Skog is reviewing the future of its Tasman newsprint mill at Kawerau.

Norske Skog said Covid-19 has had a rapid, negative and likely irreversible impact on the industry in the region.

It said it was now looking at various long term options including making bleached chemical pulp and once it had a preference it would be put to staff.

The Kawerau mill employed about 160 staff and it had been battling for survival for more than a decade

That had resulted in temporary closures, halving production to 150,000 tonnes a year, and selling assets.

Along with other major energy users it has long complained about high energy costs.

It is the latest heavy industry enterprise to come under the microscope with the Tiwai Point smelter slated for closure, and major restructuring taking place at New Zealand Steel's Glenbrook mill, and the Marsden Point oil refinery.

rnz.co.nz