Domtar Corporation is temporarily shutting down its paper machine at its Ashdown mill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a company release, the company is shutting down the A62 paper machine at the Ashdown mill for three months. In addition, Domtar is shutting down operations at its Kingsport, Tenn. mill.
This shutdown will impact a total of 446 employees across both mills. There will be 142 layoffs at the Arkansas mill and 304 layoffs at the Kingsport mill.
These are the only Domtar facilities that have been slated to shut down so far. According to its company website, Domtar operates 13 pulp and paper mills, as well as 10 paper converting facilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a negative impact on communication paper demand, with offices, businesses and schools still closed in a large part of our markets,” John D. Williams, Domatar president and CEO, said in a statement. “Given the evolving market conditions, we are taking the appropriate steps to optimize our operations, which will ensure that we remain an agile, reliable partner to our customers. We regret the impact these temporary shutdowns will have on our Kingsport and Ashdown employees and their families, and we are doing everything we can to support them during this time.”
In October 2019, Domtar announced that it would shut down one of its two paper machines at the Ashdown mill. According to Williams, the shutdown was necessitated by a decline in uncoated freesheet paper.
Following the October shutdown, the Ashdown mill continued to produce paper, as well as softwood and fluff pulp.