As part of a major restructuring and streamling plan, UPM has put its Shotton mill in Wales up for sale with the aim of it being converted to containerboard.
The newsprint mill, that has an annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes, includes a materials collections and recycling facility, deinking plant, paper machine line and energy infrastructure.
UPM Communication Paper executive vice president Winfried Schaur said: “UPM Shotton is well positioned to serve the UK market. However, we look for outside opportunities for alternative long-term use of the mill as newsprint consumption continues to decline.
“The paper machine is technically flexible to support conversion, especially into containerboard production.”
UPM also announced the closure of its Kaipola mill in Finland and a streamlining of the business function teams. Additionally, UPM Biorefining and UPM Speciality Papers will be reorganised and there will be streamlining of its Finnish pulp mills UPM Forest and UPM Tervasaari.
The company aims to save €75 million (£67 million) from the measures.
Wilfried Schaur added: “We in UPM are very committed to the paper business and to serving our customers. With our assets, people and strategy, we are confident that we can run a profitable business for years to come. It is good to bear in mind that the world markets for graphic papers still exceed 70 million tonnes, whereof more than 20 million tonnes in Europe. Even if declining, these markets offer profitable business and good cash flow for mills with a competitive cost structure.
“In a mature business, it needs relentless efforts to look after cost competitiveness and to make sure that our assets are in efficient use in all circumstances. Also, the operating environment does have a significant impact on the future success of each operating location. Long-term predictability of the regulatory environment is elemental to attracting investment and maintaining jobs.”