DELKESKAMP to close Nortrup paper mill

DELKESKAMP to close Nortrup paper mill
29.07.2022
"DELKESKAMP stops paper production from waste paper".   As a company with a high gas demand, Delkeskamp Verpackungswerke GmbH is now finally reacting to the consequences of the Ukraine war, the associated supply restrictions on the part of Russia and the resulting massive increases in energy costs. From today's perspective, the further development can neither be planned nor foreseen.   Stefan Delkeskamp, Managing Partner, on the current situation and prospects of the group of companies with around 720 employees, which celebrated its 125th anniversary only last year, explains:   Following the unforeseeable events of the Ukraine war since 24 Feb 2022, natural gas prices, which have already been at a very high level since the end of 2021, have once again become massively more expensive and supply restrictions can no longer be ruled out.   In March 2022, we were already facing the closure of the paper mill in the same situation, but we were able to avert the whole thing by taking various short-term measures. In order not to endanger the entire DELKESKAMP group of companies, we have now finally decided to close down the paper production from recovered paper in its entirety.   Today, we assume that production operations will be discontinued by the end of 2022 at the latest. This will directly affect around 70 employees.   This step is not easy for us, given the 60-year tradition of this business, but based on all the information available to us for the future, the unforeseeable further effects of the Ukraine crisis and expected continued high energy costs, there is no alternative!     The market situation...   The market for raw materials and supplies is still tight and with rising prices, whereas the sales market for corrugated base paper is increasingly overflowing due to the beginning recession caused by high inflation rates, the paper warehouses are getting more and more full and first paper price reductions have been implemented after announcements for July.   Likewise, any idea in politics for a solution of the current energy problems is missing, so that the failed energy policy continues. Merely a lot of words and the announcement that we all have to pull together are not enough, and at present the protection of private households also seems to have a much higher electoral priority.   Small and medium-sized businesses in rural regions in particular have been fighting for alternative solutions such as wind power and photovoltaics for years, and all they keep getting from the grid operators is that the existing line structure cannot absorb any more volumes.
The fact that the corrugated board industry is classified as systemically relevant in a food supply process chain, but the upstream suppliers in the paper industry are not, is also more than incomprehensible and not very effective.   In addition, the announced / existing state aid for the companies in the paper industry is by no means sufficient to secure the necessary liquidity or results in the long term.     The further course of action...   After informing the internal committees, the management informed the workforce of the Nortrup paper mill today about the final discontinuation of the production of corrugated base paper and the further procedure.   In the next step, socially acceptable solutions will be sought with the operating parties, including a voluntary program to reduce the workforce.     Corrugated board & foam business areas   Irrespective of the critical development of the paper mill, the Corrugated Board and Foam Materials business areas are not affected. Paper supplies to the three corrugated board mills in Nortrup, Hanover and Nordhausen (Thuringia) are fully secured via external suppliers.   The performance of these business units is demonstrated on a daily and ongoing basis by the reliable supply of high-quality corrugated board and foam products to all existing customers.     Conclusion   It is with great regret that Managing Director Stefan Delkeskamp reports:   As a family business, you are always in competition with large corporations and therefore a rough wind has always blown around our noses on a direct course. However, the loss of jobs combined with all the personal fates in the region is almost unbearable for me.   We will try to make the closure of corrugated base paper production here at the Nortrup site as socially acceptable as possible for everyone, without the Group as a whole being affected!       Nortrup, 29.07.2022   Stefan Delkeskamp CEO