International Paper Shutting Down Moss Point Mill

Hundreds of coast residents will soon be looking for work when one of the coast's biggest businesses shuts down after 70 years in operation.

Officials with International Paper announced plans Wednesday to shut down the Moss Point mill by the end of June. The plant employs more than 350 people.

International Paper officials blame the shutdown on supply and demand issues, the high cost of operating the facility, and unsuccessful attempts to lower costs.

Mill Manager Ed Locke says the decision to close was a difficult one, but the age of the mill makes it impossible to compete with modern facilities.

"Unfortunately, economic reality has caught up with this facility due to its age and size, and we now need to align that production capacity with our demand," Locke said. "That means that high cost facilities such as this one cannot be cost competitive any longer."

Some workers will lose their jobs before the plant officially closes in June. However, workers will be paid for the entire 60 day shutdown period. The company will also offer some assistance to help workers find jobs at other International Paper facilities or other companies.