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McKinely to close Port Angeles paper mill

McKinely to close Port Angeles paper mill
McKinely Port Angeles paper mill.

Almost 200 people will lose their jobs later this summer in Port Angeles after McKinley Paper Company announced plans to shut down its operations.

General Manager Kevin Scott said: “We hope it will reopen. The plan is to prepare the mill to be idle and then to be able to restart, and we’d like that to happen sooner rather than later. It’s a question of when the market conditions will allow. We’ve been waiting for the sale price of our product to increase, and it has not increased as we’d like. Meanwhile, our input costs have gone up. So, it’s market related. And we’re trying to prepare our people and the facility to get through until the market does allow us to restart.”

Scott said the company is currently negotiating with the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. The company is not offering transfers for its employees and only said they are welcome to apply for other positions at other McKinley operations if they choose.

The mill was purchased by McKinley from the Japanese-owned Nippon Paper Industries USA in 2017 for $20.6 million. After almost three years of retooling, the mill opened in early 2020 and began producing containerboard out of 100 percent recycled cardboard.

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