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North Carolina Company Planning CLT Plant In Maine, Promises 100 Jobs

A North Carolina manufacturer plans to create more than 100 jobs by becoming Maine’s first producer of a composite wood strong enough to replace concrete and steel in high-rise buildings.

LignaTerra Global LLC of Charlotte announced plans at Bangor’s Husson University on Tuesday to build a $30 million, 300,000-square-foot factory to produce cross-laminated timber. Planning to build on a 35-acre portion of Millinocket’s 1,400-acre former Katahdin Paper Co. LLC site, the company hopes to break ground in July and start production in 12 months, said Nick Holgorsen, CEO and co-founding partner of LignaTerra.

One of two cross-laminated timber manufacturers in the country, LignaTerra aims to be the first investor to revitalize the site since parent company Brookfield Asset Management closed Katahdin Paper in 2008, laying off 208 workers and crippling a Katahdin region economy that had been home to world-class papermaking for more than a century. The failure of a more recent effort — Cate Street Capital’s proposed pellet mill — left current site owner Our Katahdin, a nonprofit economic development group, about $1.5 million in inherited tax debt.

LignaTerra leaders declined to say how much of the $30 million they will provide. The project’s private investors will be announced in several weeks and the company is working to secure tax breaks, said Brien Walton, director of the Center for Family Business at Husson University, who helped broker the deal.

“The bottom line is that if they wanted to do it all cash, right now, that is something that could be done, but we are trying to get the right parties and the right partners and to aggregate something that will be beneficial to the region and also sustainable to the long term,” Walton said during Tuesday’s news conference.

From the Bangor Daily News:

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