SKOWHEGAN — The former vice president of operations at the Verso Paper Corp. mill in Bucksport has been named the new managing director at the Sappi Fine Paper North America’s Somerset mill in Skowhegan.

He will replace Fred Oettinger, who is retiring at the end of the month.

As managing director, Mike Haws will be responsible for overseeing the safety performance, productivity and cost management of Somerset’s integrated pulp and coated fine paper mills, according to a release Friday from Amy Olson, manager of corporate communications at the company’s headquarters in Boston.

John Donahue, Sappi vice president of manufacturing, said Haws brings an expertise and leadership that is critical to safely operating a world-class, coated fine paper and pulp mill.

“Managing a large-scale manufacturing site like … Somerset is no easy task,” Donahue said in the release. “I am confident our mill, under (his) direction, will maintain the highest standard of performance.”

Haws has more than 26 years of experience in the paper industry. Under his direction, Verso Paper’s Bucksport mill improved its safety and paper machine performance. His experience includes serving as manager of operational services at the International Paper Co. mill in Jay and holding manufacturing roles with Champion International and St. Regis Paper.

“Haws’ predecessor, Fred Oettinger, will be retiring from Sappi … after an impressive 36-year career in the paper industry, of which he spent the past five years running the Somerset pulp and paper mill,” Olson said.

Under Oettinger’s leadership, the Somerset mill increased paper machine operational efficiency and successfully rebuilt the wet end of paper machine No. 1. He was also responsible for significantly reducing the mill’s dependence on oil and rebuilding the recovery boiler, which resulted in significant energy and pulp production improvements, Olson said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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