Opal Australian Paper is to make further closures at its Maryvale Mill in Victoria, announcing it would end all white pulp and paper manufacturing at the site.
This follows the unplanned end of VicForests wood supply last year, and the Japanese company’s February decision to end white pulp and paper manufacturing, including of its iconic Reflex photocopy paper.
Now the company will close Paper Machine 5 (M5) which previously made copy paper including market leading Reflex.
According to a statement: “Unfortunately, the lack of VicForests supply means Maryvale Mill has insufficient wood to continue to manufacture any white paper products.
“As a result of the end of VicForests supply, and following previous team member consultation, Opal has decided to close M2 which is the smallest machine on site, previously manufacturing both white and brown packaging paper.”
The immediate cause of the latest closure is a decision by the Supreme Court which rejected VicForests appeal against the ending of logging.
Opal said the lack of wood supply would lead to changes in its manufacturing programme, with a likely future transfer of some brown M2 products to the M3 machine.
“We have targeted the closure of M2 to take effect in late August, but this timing will be informed by a number of considerations, including customer discussions.
“Opal has commenced consultation with our affected team members and their representatives on the impact of this decision.”
Although the Maryvale Mill is no longer producing white paper, M1, M3 and M4 will continue to make brown paper and board for the growing fibre packaging market in Australia and New Zealand.
“Despite the heavy financial burden from this unplanned situation, Opal is seeking a successful transition of the Maryvale Mill into a commercially sustainable manufacturing operation.
“The Maryvale Energy from Waste (EfW) facility is important to securing the Mill’s future energy needs and the consortium partners are committed to continuing to move this project forward.
“Opal appreciates the difficulties of the current situation and is committed to keeping our team members, customers and key stakeholders updated on further developments.”
Picture: Maryvale mill