Otis Mill’s Number 10 machine to shut down

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JAY – Wausau Paper Corporation announced today that it will be permanently shutting down the Number 10 machine, putting 150 of the 235 employees out of work.

The shut down, expected on or before Dec. 31, 2008, leaves one of the two paper machines at the Jay mill operational. The Number 10 paper machine, with a capacity of 40,000 tons annually, manufactures coated products, such as release liners used to label products, grease-resistant protective barrier paper and creped tape backing paper.

According to a statement released today, the shut down is “in response to dramatically increased input costs and difficult market conditions.”

“While the release liner market remains a strategic focus for Wausau Paper, the high cost structure of the liner machine at our Otis mill has made it uncompetitive in today’s business environment,” said Thomas J. Howatt, president and CEO. “While we regret the impact this decision will have on so many of our dedicated and loyal employees, it is a decision made in keeping with our commitment to address under-performing areas of our business and to deliver acceptable returns to our shareholders. This move is in keeping with our strategic marketing plan for Specialty Products that focuses on tape backing grades, high performance release liners and food service and food packaging markets.”

Wausau Paper, with revenues of $1.2 billion in fiscal 2007, produces and markets fine printing and writing papers, technical specialty papers, and “away-from-home” towel and tissue products. Its corporate headquarters are located in Mosinee, Wisconsin with 3,000 employees working at 11 different facilities in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio and the Otis Mill in Jay, Maine. The company was formed in December 1997 with the merger of Mosinee Paper Corporation and Wausau Paper Mills Company.

Gov. John E. Baldacci said the shut down and loss of 150 jobs is significant. He announced plans to dispatch an advisor to the mill tomorrow and to deploy Maine Department of Labor’s Rapid Response Team to Jay to help those workers facing unemployment.

“I am deeply concerned about the workers, their families and the community as they face this difficult news,” he said in a prepared statement.

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