GP's Old Town Mill in Maine Sold to Investor Group

Oct. 6, 2006 - A group of private investors under the company name Red Shield LLC yesterday agreed to purchase Georgia-Pacific's shuttered mill in Old Town, Maine, according to an AP news report. Three other companies will have leases.

Jack Cashman, Maine's economic development director, along with Gov. John Baldacci, Georgia-Pacific representatives and local officials gathered for the signing of the long-awaited agreement for the sale of the mill.

According to AP, four companies will move into the mill after the deal closes, but there's room for another five to six "good-sized companies," Cashman said.

Baldacci said the goal is to have more than 1,000 people working at the site. At its peak, the mill had about 650 to 700 workers, Cashman said.

Georgia-Pacific hopes to close the deal within a month, Joseph W. Moeller, the corporation's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Red Shield, which will employ 250 workers initially, will run the mill's biomass boiler to produce electricity. Eventually, the company hopes to use the boiler to make ethanol, a substitute for the additive MTBE used in gasoline.

Other companies moving to the site are Tamarack Energy, a developer of renewable energy; Hallowell International LLC, a maker of home heating and cooling products; and Lamtec Inc., a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive labels.

In March, GP ceased pulp and tissue manufacturing at the mill, but kept the plant in working order for about two months while it sought a buyer. Four woodchip mills, in Costigan, Milo, Portage and Houlton, that supplied raw material to the mill were also shut down.

Under yesterday's deal, Red Shield will pay $1 for the mill, but it's responsible for environmental remediation, Cashman said. The wood chip mills are included in a separate deal, and Red Shield will pay "several million" dollars for those, he said.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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