Riegelwood mill cutting jobs, changing focus


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Submitted: Tue, 03/31/2015 - 4:13pm By:

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A spokeswoman for International Paper says its Riegelwood paper mill will be converted into a new type of production, affecting jobs in the mill.

According to a news release, the company is expanding the facility to fluff pulp production, converting the mill to 100% fluff and softwood pulp. They say the plans to convert the mill will cost about $135 million in investments from IP.

Floyd Whitmire, Riegelwood’s mill manager, says the conversion is best position to be in for the future.

“We will have fewer jobs as a result of shutting down one of the machines,” Whitmire said. “However, based on what we know today, there will be no impact to anyone’s job at the Riegelwood Mill this year. We also are hopeful that we can manage most, if not all job reductions by utilizing current vacancies, retirements and normal attrition.”

There’s no word on the number of positions, vacant or filled, that will be impacted by the conversion.

Officials said this is International Paper’s second major capital investment in the Riegelwood Mill in the last two years, including a $40 million investment to optimize the mill’s woodyard operations.

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