RDM announces the closure of its Blendecques paper mill and is withdrawing from the French market

The Italian papermaker RDM has announced its decision to close its Blendecques facility (Pas-de-Calais region, in Northern France) and therefore to cease all production in France. This site, which employs 176 people, houses a paper machine which produces board (coated and uncoated) from recycled materials. This paper is used to produce packaging for the food industry, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, etc.
According to a company spokesperson quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP), the factory, which has a capacity of some 117,000 t/year, is now operating at half of this capacity.
Over the last two years, this site has really had a hard time. It first suffered a fire in March 2022 which led to its shutdown for around ten months. In addition, at the end of 2023, the violent floods which affected the north of France (and particularly the Aa valley) caused production stoppages.
According to RDM, in spite of strong effort to relaunch the plant after the fire, the economic viability of this factory is not demonstrated and without satisfactory medium and long-term prospects in the context of a European packaging market which has also been depressed since the end of 2022.
An information-consultation process will be launched on March 26 for a period of three months. The closure could occur by the end of next August. The group is now looking for a buyer.

V. L.