The 80-year-old Whakatāne Mill has confirmed it will close after failing to find a buyer, resulting in 210 job losses. And a  second central North Island paper mill also on the market has criticised the country’s high electricity prices. Norske Skog’s Tasman pulp and paper plant in nearby Kawerau is also under strategic review. Its biggest issue is declining newsprint demand and one of the main reasons it is struggling is the  high cost of energy. Whakatāne’s general manager Juha Vera JanKorva has been highly critical of New Zealand power prices, saying they are a definite handicap  compared to other countries they are  up against.    In 2018 spot electricity prices were $80 a megawatt hour but at the moment, they are averaging $130 MW/h, and peaking at times to $320 MW/h. New Zealand’s paper and paperboard industry is worth $490m a year with Australia and China its main export markets for packaging products, tissues and toilet paper. Paper exports are expected to fall slightly this year to $460m, due to the reduced demand for newsprint as media organisations increasingly move online.