RUMFORD – The No. 11 paper machine will continue producing until the end of the month, rather than shutting down Feb. 25.

Tony Lyons, spokesman for NewPage Corp., announced Thursday afternoon that the extension was made so orders can be filled. He said last week’s severe weather caused some train cars to derail, delaying shipments to the mill. From Feb. 15-19, the mill had to get chemical, coal and carbonate deliveries by truck.

“It was a difficult time for us,” he said.

A loss of 60 jobs, mostly hourly positions, was expected to result from shutting down the mill’s oldest paper machine, which was built in 1923. With the retirement package offered to those eligible to take early retirement, he said that number will likely be reduced to 25 or fewer.

“We’re working to minimize that number. It will be less than 25 positions,” he said.

Between five and seven salaried positions, included in the 60 positions, are being eliminated. Several of those people have already left their jobs.

Once No. 11 is shut down, the mill will employ 1,000 workers.

The decision to permanently shut down No. 11 was part of a so-called integration process resulted from when NewPage Corp. took over Stora Enso North America in December 2007.

NewPage owns several paper mills, most in the Midwest. It is based in Miamisburg, Ohio.

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