Expera to close Maine paper mill
By Eileen Persike, Editor.
Expera Specialty Solutions plans to close its Old Town Mill in Maine by the end of the year, according to a company press release. The mill employs nearly 200 workers.
The company which also owns paper mills in Wisconsin, including Rhinelander, purchased the pulp mill in south eastern Maine in August, 2014 and reopened it with plans to ship the pulp to its Wisconsin mills, as well as sell it on the open market, according to Addie Teeters, company spokesperson.
In a written statement, President and CEO Russ Wanke cited several factors that lead to the decision to close the plant.
“However, since the restart, the decline of the Canadian dollar exchange rate combined with a significant increase of new pulp capacity has led to a material drop in market pulp prices,” Wanke stated. “In addition, wood costs have not moderated in Maine commensurate with demand decline. The combination of these forces does not allow sustainable operations even with a dedicated and talented team of employees.”
The company said it will investigate the possibility of selling the century-old mill.