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New Owners Of Whakatāne Mill Announce Positive Progress, Reports A Full Order Book

Power Paperboard Limited (PPL), owners of the Whakatāne Mill Limited (WML) is proud to report that in only three months, the Mill has made significant, swift progress under its new ownership.

The Mill has received substantial amounts of positive interest from both domestic and international customers and is proud to report that its order book is full, well into 2022. This is despite its previous owners, SIG Combibloc, taking with them 120,000 tonnes per annum of production offshore. The current production output of the Mill sits at around 150,000 tonnes per annum.

It will also be making further improvements to the quality of its products and making additional adjustments to ensure the operation can compete internationally – something the Mill has not been able to achieve in over a decade.

Executive Chairman of WML, Ian Halliday, says the Mill cost reduction programme has been progressing smoothly, and that its full order book is proof its strategy to turn the Mill around is working.

“The Mill is performing strongly, in fact it’s exceeding our internal projections. We have made significant process improvements and cost savings, with the Mill well on its way to becoming internationally competitive. This is testament to the strengthened management and work of all staff who supported us throughout the acquisition process.

“There is strong demand for our products, which now exclude liquid packaging board, and our forecasts indicate this market demand will continue well into the coming years. We’re confident in our ability to maintain this trajectory and are committed to creating a sustainable business for years to come.”

The Mill’s acquisition by PPL and its success to date has enabled more than 170 people to retain their jobs at WML. Given the Mill’s significance to the Whakatāne and Bay of Plenty communities, coupled with New Zealand and the wider Oceania market, PPL has indicated its intention to update the market on the Mill’s progress on a regular basis.

The PPL Board is also reviewing several capital projects to further enhance the Mill’s operations and expects to be able to announce these by year end.

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