American pulp and paper packaging company International Paper has confirmed its plans to permanently shut down its containerboard production mill in Orange, Texas, US.

The move comes as part of the business’s latest announcement to implement a series of strategic actions to further strengthen and optimise its existing manufacturing capabilities.

Aside from the closure of this Texas-based plant, International Paper has decided to permanently cease all production activities on two of its pulp machines across the country, including the #20 machine in Riegelwood, North Carolina, and the #4 machine in Pensacola, Florida.

The company said it is taking these measures in order to meet the rising demands of its customers.

The closure of the containerboard production facility in Orange, as well as the #20 machine in Riegelwood, is expected to be completed by the end of the current year.

The #4 machine in Pensacola meanwhile, the company said, has already been decommissioned and will not resume production activities.

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The decision is expected to impact approximately 900 positions in the company.

International Paper claimed that it is working to minimise this potential impact on its employees, wherever possible, by making use of available vacancies and retirements, as well as by filling other roles within the company.

International Paper chair and CEO Mark Sutton said: “Decisions like these are extremely difficult, because of the impact on our employees, their families and the communities in which we operate.

“We are committed to providing severance benefits, outplacement assistance and more to help employees during this time.”

The Texas mill’s closure is estimated to reduce the company’s containerboard capacity by 800,000 tons (t).

Additionally, the closure of machines in Pensacola and Riegelwood will reduce International Paper’s pulp manufacturing capacity by nearly 500,000t, which includes 300,000t of fluff pulp and 200,000t of southern bleached softwood.

Sutton added: “We believe strongly in the attractive, long-term fundamentals of our businesses and these actions further strengthen our competitive platform. Our optimised mill system, with its broad capabilities, gives us the flexibility to meet our customers’ needs today and in future.”