Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Jersey firm to close 105-year old paper mill in MA


Rising energy cost are being blamed for the planned closing of Haverhill Paperboard Corp., which has employed generations of families since it opened in the Merrimack Valley town of Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1902.

A total of 142 full-time and 32 part-time employees will be affected by the closing.

Officials at Haverhill Paperboard said the skyrocketing cost of natural gas and electricity needed to run the mill's machinery, as well as excess industry capacity for their products, prompted the decision to close.

Haverhill's mayor said he was told the company was shifting operations to South Carolina where they can take advantage of less-costly coal fuel to run their equipment.

Closing the historic plant, which opened in 1902 as the Haverhill Box Board Co., also will have implication's for the area's paper recycling programs. The plant currently takes in some 3,000 tons of recyclable paper goods annually from neighborhoods and the city recycling center and turns it into multilayer products, such as book covers and foldable cartons for the food and gift industries.

Haverhill Paperboard is owned by The Newark Group Inc., an international company based in Cranford, N.J. It operates paperboard, recycled fibers and industrial plants in Newark, NJ, York, PA, North Hoosick, NY, Fitchburg, MA, Salem, MA, Webster, MA and other domestic locations in Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and California. The company also operates plants in Spain and Germany.

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