A 116-year-old cellulose production firm at Tofte on the southern tip of the Hurum peninsula west of Oslo will be shut on May 1, throwing its 295 employees out of work. The Swedish owners of Södra Cell Tofte said they simply weren’t making enough money at the plant.
Employees were told at a midday meeting on Wednesday that a shutdown loomed since efforts to sell the plant were unsuccessful.
Other forest products firms in Norway have been keen to save the company and Viken Skog was among those making a bid to take it over. The Swedish owners didn’t think the bids were high enough to accept.
“This is very sad for the workers at Tofte,” Ragnhild Borchegrevink, managing director of Viken Skog told NRK. “It’s also very dramatic for the forestry industry in Norway.” It’s been struggling for years because of high costs, lower demand for paper and hard times in many of its markets in Europe. The shutdown at Tofte means the loss of another depot where timber owners could deliver their logs for processing into paper or other products.