Comments for: Millinocket gets glimpse of ‘game-changing technology’ that will create jobs at former mill site

Posted May 10, 2012, at 6:51 p.m.
Last modified May 10, 2012, at 9:06 p.m.

MILLINOCKET | The $35 million torrefied wood machine slated for Katahdin Avenue would be at least as quiet and odor-free as the paper mill it would go next to, a representative of its New Hampshire-based developer said Thursday. Cate Street Capital project manager Dammon M. Frecker spoke publicly for …

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  • Anonymous

    I think their presentation was very positive and informative. Forward we go

  • Anonymous

    This is a comedy show right?

    • Anonymous

      Classy guy.

  • Anonymous

    I hope that the microwaves don’t cause problems with any medical equipment at MRH.  I thought of my pacemaker the second I saw the word in this article !

    • Tyke

       Microwaves can be screened in with fairly simple technology. 

  • Anonymous

    I thought of my pacemaker the second I saw the word microwave in this article.  I hope the process dosen’t cause problems with the medical equipment at MRH . 

    • Anonymous

      Can anyone let the positive flow for 24 hours before they start trying to down something!  Maybe your children or grandchildren should not get a dental exray?  You don’t think that MRH puts out radiation?  Bring on the Tracktor Supply Company and whoever else is interested. I bet there is at least one microwave at MRH!  Good Luck Millinocket….it’s been a long time coming!

      • Anonymous

        I would love to see positive in Maine. However as a Mainer I never count my chickens before they hatch. I have seen this movie many times before though and the odds ain’t lookin good.

        Look at that great re-purposed sardine plant in Prospect Harbor. It was a scam from the get go. Now you want beach cliff sardines they come from Poland or Thailand!!

        If it might be good for Maine there will be a whole line of folks wanting to tell you why we should not have it. With the mills we say ok it is coming the union says come on in sure we will work for x. A year later they want more money more benies and bye bye to another. History has a way of repeating itself.

    • Cate Street said the microwave emissions are kept entirely enclosed within the machines that treat the wood so that anyone could stand next to the machines without any need of special protective gear.

  • Are 25 people enough to have a union and kill this?

    • Anonymous

      We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers’ salaries and take away their right to strike. – Adolph Hitler, May 2, 1933

  • Anonymous

    I hope this is a new beginning.  It feels good to have hope.  

  • PaulNotBunyan

    I see some numbers here but what’s the microwave power level? I’m not worried about it – just curious.  You could express it in watts or tell us it’s equivalent to popping N bags of Orville Redenbacher at a time.

  • Anonymous

    It would be nice to mention one time what these pellets are used for. Fuel maybe? Leave em wondering.

    • The story says that torrefied wood is “wood treated with microwaves to burn at about a 1-to-1 ration with coal used in coal-fired electricity plants.” 

      To elaborate on that a bit: The torrefied wood pellets are mixed in with coal used in the electricity plants to produce a less carbon-emitting, or less-polluting, burn. Though the pellets could be used anywhere in the world for the same purpose, and probably others, European electricity manufacturers are particularly interested in this technology because of much more stringent environmental regulations recently in effect that force them to either find a cleaner-burning substance than coal or to pay much more than the torrefied wood costs to install scrubbers in their plant stacks that remove toxins from the plant’s emissions. Cate Street officials have expressed a great deal of confidence that they will have no trouble finding European customers for their product. They have already been in negotiations with some of them. This has been in previous stories. Hope it helps.

      • Not to rain on a parade but no where has there been any mention of where this biocoal is going to be shipped from to get to Scotland and the rest of Europe. Eastport and the old proposed Calais LPG site come to mind real quick ! Any other candidate’s, on this side of the border ? If there was ever a time for the State’s DECD to come into play, this is it.

        • Anonymous

          More likely by rail to Searsport.  I hope they can be successful and build volume so they can expand.

          • Very true. But the Eastport facility is already and waiting for business. The Calais site has already been zoned for development and the navigation rights resolved. I don’t argue that Searsport isin’t a good site, moreso since the LPG terminal has already been thru the public comment and meeting session’s. But I’m just wondering if the Eastern Maine rail folk’s would like to get in on this piece of business so they aren’t so dependent on Irving for their revenue, and get their car’s into Eastport for regular run’s. Seems like a pretty simple arguement, especially when it’s a win-win for everybody here in both Northern and Eastern Maine.

        • In previous stories it has been mentioned that Searsport would be used as the point of export to the European Union and the United Kingdom, yes, Mike, though whether by train or truck hasn’t yet been made clear. This was alluded to in a story at the beginning of the year (http://bangordailynews.com/2011/12/01/business/cate-street-buys-biocoal-technology-rights-for-20m/) and I think in a few stories since.

          • All for it, either way. But if Cate St wants to get it moving in sufficient quantity then rail is the way to go. And with the old MMA line’s now available for service, it would seem that the decision has been made for them. Rail, in quantity, is always cheaper than truck. Even Maine’s DOT Rail folk’s, when the Bond issue for the old MMA track’s purchase and leasing out was being discussed. Now if Eastport and Calais want to get in on this, then wouldn’t this be the time for them to start thinking about it and looking into the possibilites for it ? This is where DECD and the DEP need to step up and work toward getting the State ready to get people back to work by working with the communities, and the business sector,  to get this option researched and mapped out. That the Calais site has already been zoned for commercial / industrial for the old proposed LPG facility, it would seem that the permtting process has already had most of the immediate and simple stuff done already. Eastport may take a little while longer but it’ still an ocean port for cargo and bulk carrier’s, isin’t it ? Or did I read BDN wrong last year when this was being seen in their business section ?

      • Anonymous

        Wouldn’t it be great if domestic coal plants got involved in this!   Fewer emissions from coal fired electricity generation would be very positive.  Using waste wood or even turning the hundreds of thousands of acres of abandoned farmland into plantations to feed this industry is far better than destroying Maine’s mountains for useless wind turbines which have no effect whatsoever in reducing coal plant emissions.

        • The big knock against torrefied wood since its inception decades ago is that it is too costly, too labor intensive, to compete with other, more traditional energy sources such as coal. It seems clear enough that the big game changer for it is the European Union and United Kingdom’s seriously cracking down on carbon emissions with improved or toughened air-quality standards. With that, Cate Street folks seem very confident that they will have a market for their product. I suspect that a similar toughening of regulations on this continent will be necessary for the product to take off  here, but then again, Cate Street folks have said that they have received domestic inquiries about their product as well.

  • Good report Nick.
    And thanks for filling in with more detail.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Cate Street, how about paying your GNP bills first?  Your vendors haven’t been paid in 90 days!

  • Anonymous

    Way cool. And the product is to be exported too.

  • Anonymous

    Anybody who thinks a papermill is quiet and odor free needs to spend a weekend in a place that is quiet and odor free.

  • Anonymous

    Then the unions will come in and the company will shut its doors because of the labor costs.

    • Anonymous

      I am sure it would be much better to pay the employees minimum wage,my god why would anyone want to get a living wage.   Unions are not the reasons jobs have gone away, it is greed.
      Companies can make good profits working with unions but the companies can make more if they ship the jobs overseas, get tax breaks from the U.S., and pay cents per hour instead of dollars.  

    • Anonymous

      A Wall Street CEO, a union worker and a Tea Partier walk into a bar.  They are sitting at a table with 12 cookies.  The CEO grabs 11, turns to the tea Partier and says: “You better watch him… That union guy is out to take your cookie”. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m so pleased for the people of Millinocket.  It’s been a long, hard haul and the folks there need a break.

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