Closure of UPM and Sappi mills in Germany underline need for politicians to ensure competitive conditions, including affordable energy supply; closures will reduce production capacities of Bavarian paper industry by 20%: Bavarian Printing and Media Assn.

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August 1, 2023 (press release) –

Two large paper manufacturers, UPM and SAPPI, recently announced that they would be closing their Bavarian production sites in Plattling and Stockstadt. This will reduce the production capacities of the Bavarian paper industry by 20 percent. The Bavarian Printing and Media Association (VDMB) views this development with great concern. “The German printing industry depends on an internationally competitive paper industry in Germany. Paper continues to play the predominant role for printed products. Whether newspapers, books, magazines, election documents, operating instructions or package inserts for medicines: all of these print products are based on paper," emphasizes Christoph Schleunung, Chairman of the VDMB, pointing out the continued great importance of paper for the economy and society.

“There are ominous signals when energy-intensive sectors such as the paper industry see only limited prospects for profitable paper production in Germany,” warns Schleunung. Especially in the energy-intensive paper production, an affordable and secure energy supply and its long-term planning play a decisive role for investment decisions. The current plant closures underline the acute pressure to act on politicians to ensure competitive framework conditions for the economy in order to preserve Germany as an industrial location. "In addition to the necessary reduction in bureaucracy, this includes above all a reduced industrial electricity price as a bridging solution from which large and medium-sized companies alike benefit," Schleunung addressed a specific demand to politicians. “What is needed is a new location policy for Germany that gives companies planning security and more room for development. Otherwise we are endangering the future viability of our business location,” warns Schleunung. Just recently, Jürgen Schaller, the chairman of the board of the Association of Bavarian Paper Mills, called for an industrial electricity price in order to create reliable and internationally competitive location conditions for German paper mills and on this basis to advance the necessary transformation of the industry.

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