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Domtar to Idle Ashdown Plant, Lay Off 142

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Domtar Corp. of Fort Mill, South Carolina, said Monday that it will temporarily idle two plants, including its A62 paper machine at its Ashdown plant, for three months, a response to “the unforeseeable business conditions driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The publicly traded company (NYSE: UFS) said it will lay off 142 employees in Ashdown (Little River County) and 304 employees at its Kingsport, Tennessee, mill.

“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, president and CEO, said in a news release. “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.”

Domtar said its other facilities remain fully operational.

Domtar’s Ashdown mill opened in 1968. It became part of Domtar, a paper products company, in 2001. It underwent a $160 million project to convert a paper machine to a fluff pulp machine in 2016. Domtar says it has about 10,000 employees.

Last week, Anthony Timberlands Inc. said it would cut production in half at its Malvern and Bearden pine mills, idling about 200 employees.

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