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Hansol takes Jinju CFP mill in Korea offline in face of high costs
Write 한솔제지 Date 2018-07-09

SINGAPORE, 29 April 2011 (PPI Asia) - Hansol Paper has shut down a coated fine paper (CFP) mill in Jinju city, Gyeongsangnam province, South Korea, indefinitely. The facility is operated by its subsidiary Artone Paper.

A Hansol contact ascribed the closure to the mill's high operating costs and to stagnant CFP pricing in the domestic market.

The shut could be permanent, but the company has not yet made a final decision, he added.

Production on the plant's 49,000 tonne/yr CFP machine and an off-machine coater was halted in mid-April. The company is in the process of transferring more than 200 employees at the plant to other Hansol mills in the country.

Besides the Jinju mill, Hansol owns five paper and board plants producing printing/writing paper and cartonboard, with a total capacity of 1.2 million tonnes/yr.

The closure comes as Hansol's arch rival Moorim Pulp & Paper is beginning commercial production on a 450,000 tonne/yr CFP machine at its Ulsan mill.

The machine is integrated with the facility's two bleached hardwood kraft pulp lines, which have a total capacity of 450,000 tonnes/yr.

They also supply pulp to Moorim's flagship mill, also in Jinju, for CFP production. That facility operates three machines making 455,000 tonnes/yr of CFP and 65,000 tonnes/yr of uncoated fine paper.

This sort of in-house supply has given Moorim a cost advantage over its competitors, including Hansol, who rely on market pulp imports for furnish.

Despite soaring pulp costs since late last year, Hansol and other Korean producers have been forced to hold back from implementing domestic price hikes for fear of losing market share to Moorim, which has deliberately kept its CFP prices stable.

All the output from Hansol's Jinju mill had been sold on the domestic market and it had borne the brunt of fierce competition, which eventually led to its closure.

Moorim plans to maintain the present situation, and to not push for price rises, even after the launch of CFP sales from the new PM at the Ulsan facility.

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