WestRock announces closure of paper mill in South Carolina

WestRock announces closure of paper mill in South Carolina

Supplier News

WestRock Company has made the decision to permanently close its paper mill located in North Charleston, South Carolina, on August 31, 2023.

The mill produces containerboard, uncoated kraft paper (KraftPak®), and unbleached saturating kraft paper (DuraSorb®), with a combined annual capacity of 550,000 tons.

The company plans to shift production of containerboard and uncoated kraft to other WestRock facilities, but will exit the unbleached saturating kraft paper business after the mill shutdown is completed.

The move is part of WestRock's commitment to enhancing its return on invested capital and optimising its assets. The high operating costs and significant capital investment required to maintain operations at the mill were the primary factors in the decision to cease operations.

West Rock HQ overlooking the canal and Browns Island credit Will Fisher
West Rock HQ overlooking the canal and Browns Island © Will Fisher (CC BY-SA 2.0)
WestRock and its predecessor companies have had a long history in the region operating the North Charleston mill, and the contributions of the team members over the years have been greatly appreciated, said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer at WestRock. The decision to close a facility and impact the lives of our team members is never easy, and we are committed to assisting our North Charleston team with exploring roles at other WestRock locations and outplacement assistance.

Approximately 500 employees currently work at the North Charleston mill. WestRock will provide severance packages and outplacement assistance to employees in accordance with its policy and labor union agreements.

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