1. Background and Purpose of Reorganization
Since the global financial crisis, domestic demand for paper in Japan has been in a state of structural decline due to development of IT. Since 2009, as the top manufacturer of newsprint and printing paper, with the aim of optimizing the balance of supply and demand, the Company has reduced its annual production capacity by approximately 1.7 million tonnes.
By carrying out a further reorganization of its production structure on this occasion, the Company will seek to further optimize the balance of supply and demand, and to improve the revenue structure of its paper business by reducing fixed costs and increasing the operation rate. In shutting down the relevant production equipment, the Company will take every possible measure to ensure stable supply and quality for its customers.
By implementing this reorganization of its production structure as part of its Sixth Medium-Term Business Plan (FY2018 – FY2020), the Company will seek to enhance the earning power of its paper business. Moreover, in order to accelerate the growth of the entire business, the Company will work on expansion of its business operation in growth areas (packaging, household tissues, healthcare, chemicals, energy, etc.) and early commercialization of new business.
2. Outline of Reorganization of Paper Business Production Structure
(1) Hokkaido Mill (Yufutsu) is to shut down all paper production machines and related equipment for the production of paper. In addition to continuing its chemical business operations at the mill, moving forward, the Company will also advance considerations for the mill to become a location for establishing new business operations; including biomass power generation.
(2) Fuji Mill (Fuji) is to shut down all paper production machines and related equipment for the production of paper. As of May 2018, the mill commenced operation of Crecia-Kasuga Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Hirofumi Narita), producing household tissue. Moving forward, the mill will seek to utilize its location in close proximity to a major metropolitan area in order to shift towards becoming a production location for household paper products.
(3) Kushiro Mill is to shut down its No. 8 paper production machine due to a decline in newsprint demand. By doing so, the mill will seek to shrink fixed costs and increase production efficiency and enhance its cost competitiveness as a newsprint production location. It is planned to transfer production of a portion of newsprint currently produced using machine No.8 to machine No. 6 at the same mill. As a result, it is planned to transfer (partial) production of heavy-sack kraft paper, unbleached kraft paper and semibleached wrapping paper currently produced using machine No. 6 to the Company’s Hokkaido Mill (Asahikawa), and to Shin Tokai Paper Co., Ltd.’s Shimada Mill.