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WEYERHAEUSER ANNOUNCES CLOSURE OF EVERETT, WASH., PULP MILL

 WEYERHAEUSER ANNOUNCES CLOSURE OF EVERETT, WASH., PULP MILL
 EVERETT, Wash., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY) announced today plans to close its Everett pulp mill effective March 29.
 Closure of the mill has been under consideration for some time, Pulp Division Vice President Carl Geist said, but a final decision was not made by senior management until Jan. 13. Everett employees were informed of the decision this afternoon by Mill Manager Bill Miller.
 Geist said there are three primary reasons for closure of the mill: 1) difficult market conditions, including overcapacity and severe pulp price attrition; 2) escalating raw material costs; and 3) the capital investment required to comply with current environmental regulations.
 On Jan. 3, Weyerhaeuser announced special 1991 year-end charges and a credit against earnings totalling $344 million after-tax, including charges for mill modernizations, mill closures and environmental remediation, among other items.
 "We were in the middle of a final review of the Everett mill when the special charges were announced," Geist said. "Since then, we've completed our review and it's regrettable that we cannot continue to operate the mill under current and anticipated conditions.
 "Our employees have fought a good but impossible fight with a small, outdated mill in a market with substantial overcapacity," Geist said.
 "I can't say enough about the hard and innovative work our employees have done to try and keep the mill competitive. But the fact remains our raw material and environmental costs have risen dramatically and mills competing with our Everett facility are newer and larger, and more new pulp mills are on the way," Miller said.
 The Everett pulp mill was built by Weyerhaeuser in 1953. It has produced bleached wood pulp for use in disposable diapers, feminine sanitary products, sandpaper backing, and printing and writing paper.
 Geist said the world pulp and paper industry is in a severe economic slump. He said the Everett mill posted a substantial loss in 1991 and similar losses were projected for the next several years.
 "To bring the mill up to current environmental standards would require an investment f? $35 million to $40 million in the next three years," Geist said.
 The cost of the Everett mill's chip supply has risen dramatically in the past 18 months due to logging restrictions caused primarily by public concern for the northern spotted owl.
 The Everett mill has relied on non-Weyerhaeuser sawmills for 75 percent of its chip supply. Those sawmills rely heavily on logs harvested from federal lands. The harvest level on those lands has been reduced to one-fourth in 1991 from harvest levels of recent years because of the northern spotted owl and other environmental factors and could be reduced even more in coming years.
 "Our top priority is to help our employees and our customers. We want to do all we can to help employees find employment either within or outside the company. We also will help our customers find reliable, quality products to replace those made at Everett," Geist said.
 Geist said the Everett mill employs a total of 285 employees, 220 of whom are members of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 10. A broad range of job-search support and termination benefits will be made available to all employees.
 "The Everett area has meant much to Weyerhaeuser since the early days of the company," Geist said. The company first entered the lumber business in Everett when it purchased a small Everett sawmill in 1902, two years after Weyerhaeuser was founded. At one time, the company operated two pulp mills and four sawmills in Everett.
 "This closure will have an impact on human support services in the Everett area since Weyerhaeuser employees and the company have been strong supporters of United Way and United Way agencies," Miller said. "To help compensate for that loss of support, the Weyerhaeuser Foundation will provide support for United Way in 1992," he said.
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Miller in Everett, 206-339-2852, or Mike Walters at Corporate Headquarters, 206-924-3423, both of Weyerhaeuser Co./
 (WY) CO: Weyerhaeuser Co. ST: Washington IN: PAP SU:


SC -- SE010 -- 9768 01/14/92 17:45 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1992
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