Double blow for Boyer

THE economy and the closure of the north-south rail line delivered a double blow to the Derwent Valley’s major employer last week. Falling demand has forced Norske Skog’s Boyer paper mill to wind back its production levels, and what paper it does produce must now be transported by road instead of rail.

General manager Rod Bender told ABC Radio that the mill – which normally produces about 5000 tonnes of newsprint each week – is aiming to reduce its stockpile over the next two months. Boyer manufactures about 40 per cent of Australia’s newsprint requirements, supplying News Limited, Fairfax and West Australian Newspapers. Most newspapers are at present using less newsprint due to falling revenues during the present economic downturn.

Meanwhile, The Examiner reports that Norske Skog may seek compensation following the recent closure of the main line railway due to damage caused by a recent derailment. Boyer generally ships the majority of its product to the mainland via the ports of Burnie and Bell Bay (the Mercury newspaper’s supplies are sent by road). In the absence of the daily rail movement, about 30 trucks a day are presently making their way north from Boyer via New Norfolk. Repairs to the rail line may take five weeks.

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