US-based paper and packaging company WestRock has revealed plans to permanently shut down the corrugated medium manufacturing operations at its recycled paper mill in St Paul, Minnesota.

The plan is in line with the company’s commitment to improving returns on invested capital and maximising the performance of its assets.

Westrock said the corrugated medium machinery at its St Paul location would require ‘significant’ investment to maintain and improve operations in the future.

The closure is expected to cause around 130 jobs to be cut at the St Paul site.

All affected employees will be entitled to severance and outplacement assistance under the company’s policy and labour union agreements.

WestRock said that the decision will reduce its annual corrugated medium production capacity by 200,000t.

It is not expected to affect coated recycled board production at the location.

WestRock CEO David B Sewell said: “Shutting down operations and impacting the lives of our employees is a difficult decision to make.

“As we implement our plans to close the corrugated medium operations in St Paul, we are incredibly appreciative for the many contributions this team has made.

“We plan to assist these team members in exploring roles at other WestRock locations and with outplacement services.”

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, WestRock operates a network of more than 320 manufacturing facilities, design centres, research labs and sales offices worldwide.

The company supplies sustainable paper and packaging solutions to customers in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

In July this year, WestRock entered an agreement to take over the remaining interest in recycled paper and cardboard packaging manufacturer Grupo Gondi.

The company will pay $970m along with the assumption of debt, increasing Grupo Gondi’s enterprise value to around $1.76bn.

WestRock held a 32.3% stake in Grupo Gondi prior to signing the agreement.