Verso to shut down part of mill, cutting capacity

Miami Twp.-based Verso Corp. will permanently shut down a paper machine and related equipment at its Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, a move that will affect more than 100 workers, the company said Wednesday.

The move will reduce annual coated paper production capacity at the mill by about 200,000 tons. The shutdown will be effective August 1 and is expected to be complete by the end of the third quarter of 2017.

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The permanent shutdown of the No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment will impact approximately 120 employees at the Androscoggin Mill.

The machine and a recovery boiler and digester that support it were idled in January of this year in response to declining customer demand. Most products made on the No. 3 paper machine were transitioned to lower-cost machines in other Verso mills, the company said.

“Verso is leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to move the company toward sustained profitability in a market where customer demand for our graphic paper products continues to decline,” said B. Christopher DiSantis, Verso chief executive.

Earlier this month, the company reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Peter Kesser had resigned from his positions as the senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Verso. He is to receive more than $1.5 million in exit benefits, according to a filing with the SEC.

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