WestRock to Close Paper Mill in North Charleston, South Carolina
WestRock Company (NYSE: WRK) today announced it will permanently cease operating its paper mill in North Charleston, South Carolina, on August 31, 2023.
“WestRock and its predecessor companies have had a long history in the region operating the North Charleston mill, and the contributions of the team members over the years have been greatly appreciated,” said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer at WestRock. “The decision to close a facility and impact the lives of our team members is never easy, and we are committed to assisting our North Charleston team with exploring roles at other WestRock locations and outplacement assistance.”
The North Charleston mill produces containerboard, uncoated kraft paper (KraftPak®), and unbleached saturating kraft paper (DuraSorb®), with a combined annual capacity of 550,000 tons. Containerboard and uncoated kraft currently produced at the mill will be manufactured at other WestRock facilities. The Company intends to exit the unbleached saturating kraft paper business when the mill shutdown is completed.
WestRock is committed to improving its return on invested capital as well as maximizing the performance of its assets. The combination of high operating costs and the need for significant capital investment were the determining factors in the decision to cease operations at the mill.
The North Charleston mill employs approximately 500 people. Employees will receive severance and outplacement assistance in accordance with WestRock policy and labor union agreements.