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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Paper plant to be shut down

The historic paper plant Follum, outside of Hønefoss, is likely to be shut down after its owners rejected an offer to buy it from a rival paper producer. A shutdown will put 350 persons out of work.

The plant is owned by long-struggling forest products firm Norske Skog. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that its board of directors has decided that it’s no longer profitable to make newsprint at the plant, nor would they sell the plant to rival producer Viken, for fear of even more competition that could undercut prices for Norske Skog’s other products.

The Follum plant has been in jeopardy for years and local county official Runar Hannevold told news bureau NTB that all efforts to maintain operations and save the jobs had “stranded.”

Plant managers had recommended shutting down the plant in November, and now the board is going along. Viken claimed its offer to buy the plant, for NOK 280 million plus a 15 percent stake in new operations, was still standing but Norske Skog’s rejection of it seemed to be standing as well.

An employees’ representative said she had no faith Norske Skog would even consider the offer further. Norske Skog, once one of Norway’s largest industrial firms, earlier has shut down plant operations elsewhere in Norway because of high costs.

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