Meridian Star

October 25, 2012

Natchez industry to close doors next week

Associated Press

NATCHEZ, Miss. —  

A Natchez industry will shut-down operations at its plant near the Natchez-Adams County Port.

The Natchez Democrat reports Mississippi River Pulp — formerly Mississippi River Corporation — will close down its recycled fiber mill effective Oct. 31. The closure, which company officials said is due to lack of demand, will affect 79 hourly and salaried workers.

Mississippi River Pulp purchased Mississippi River Corporation in 2010 for $8.2 million, five months after Mississippi River Corporation declared bankruptcy, citing low demand for its products as one of the reasons.

"Notwithstanding their best efforts, demand for the company's recycled fiber has failed to materialize in a meaningful way," the company said in news release.

The plant recycled office paper.

Mississippi River Pulp Vice President for Manufacturing Lynn Patt said that the company was still looking for a buyer despite the fact that the mill would be closed.

Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said the economic development agency had been working with the company to market the mill to potential buyers, but one of the major players they had courted recently backed out.

Russ said Natchez Inc. would continue to work with clients who are reviewing the MRP facility.

"All in all, the land and building itself are in good shape and good order, and so we will definitely be looking to either find a buyer for the current MRP facility and business, or we will remarket that property and facility to potential other customers," Russ said.