As the company that purchased the shuttered Old Town paper mill in October tries to get it back online, its efforts are getting a boost from a state tax credit program that is meant to attract investment to low-income areas.
On Thursday, the Finance Authority of Maine announced it had selected the mill’s new owner, ND Paper LLC, to receive about $12 million in tax credits over the next seven years through the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program.
With that assistance, ND Paper expects to create or retain about 130 direct jobs, along with 635 indirect or induced jobs, according to a Thursday news release from the Finance Authority of Maine, a quasi-independent state agency that administers the program.
The project should lead to investments of about $31.8 million at the Old Town mill, according to the Finance Authority of Maine.
“We are grateful for FAME’s assistance with our plans for the Old Town mill,” Brian Boland, vice president of government affairs and corporate initiatives at ND Paper, said in the release. “The financing will help us expeditiously re-start this idled facility that will ultimately supply pulp to a global base of customers. Even more importantly, an operating Old Town mill will once again provide, directly and indirectly, literally hundreds of well-paying jobs for hard-working Mainers.”
ND Paper, an Illinois-based subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd. of Hong Kong, had said that it expects to restart the mill by the first quarter of 2019 and eventually produce 275,000 air-dried metric tons of unbleached pulp, which is generally used for making paper.
Before it shut down in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Old Town mill manufactured and annually distributed approximately 155,000 air-dried metric tons of bleached hardwood pulp.
ND Paper, which also operates a paper mill in Rumford, purchased the shuttered mill from OTM Holdings LLC. Before that, OTM Holdings purchased the mill in January with a pledge to bring 100 jobs to the area.
On Thursday, the Finance Authority of Maine also announced that its board members had approved financing for two other projects, a renewable energy project in Brunswick and infrastructure upgrades in Westbrook. It said all three projects are expected to create or retain a total of 700 jobs in the state.