Future of Kawerau paper mill uncertain
The future of another major industrial operation is under review because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Norwegian forest products company Norske Skog is reviewing the future of its Tasman newsprint mill at Kawerau.
Norske Skog says COVID-19 has had a rapid, negative and likely irreversible impact on the industry in the region.
It says it's now looking at various long term options including making bleached chemical pulp and once it had a preference it would be put to staff.
The Kawerau mill employs about 160 staff and it has been battling for survival for more than a decade
That has resulted in temporary closures, halving production to 150,000 tonnes a year, and selling assets.
Along with other major energy users, it has long complained about high energy costs.
It's the latest heavy industry enterprise to come under the microscope with the Tiwai Point smelter slated for closure, and major restructuring taking place at New Zealand Steel's Glenbrook mill, and the Marsden Point oil refinery.