Domtar idling paper mill to reduce inventory

Hank Hayes • Oct 20, 2016 at 8:49 AM

KINGSPORT — Domtar Corp. announced Wednesday its downtown paper mill is being idled to reduce inventory.

"At Domtar we must continually monitor our production output and inventory with that of customer orders," Domtar spokesman Mike Cunningham explained in an email. "Accordingly, we are taking appropriate measures to reduce our inventory by slowing down production at our Kingsport Mill. We will keep you informed about the expected restart of operations as circumstances dictate.”

The mill, first doing business in 1916 as the Kingsport Pulp Mill, is experiencing its centennial year in Kingsport.

In that time, the mill has been acquired by four other owners — Mead in 1920, Willamette in 1995, Weyerhauser in 2002 and Domtar in 2007.

Since 2000, about $600 million has been invested in the Kingsport location, and Domtar said $12 million in capital funds supported the facility in 2014.

Domtar, in 2015, said the mill and its Ridgefields converting facility generated 390 direct jobs, plus 750 indirect jobs with a regional economic impact of $200 million per year. The mill’s annual payroll exceeds $35 million. The mill produces more than 420,000 tons of paper per year.

One block away, Domtar is a charter partner with the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) in Kingsport’s downtown Academic Village.

At the RCAM, new hires go through maintenance and operator apprenticeship programs developed by Domtar.

As part of its centennial celebration, Domtar has done some things to give back to the community.

Known for harvesting trees to make copy paper and other fiber-based products, Domtar was recognized last April for donating 100 fresh trees now lining Fort Henry Drive.

Last January, Domtar’s Kingsport mill also donated 5,000 pounds of copy paper to the United Way of Greater Kingsport and 30 of its member agencies.

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