Great Northern Paper to temporarily halt newsprint production at East Millinocket, Maine, paper mill due to boiler malfunction; officials say suspension to not affect customer relations, restart to occur in next few days

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine , October 26, 2011 () – A boiler malfunction at the new Great Northern Paper Co. LLC mill on Main Street will temporarily halt newsprint production, company officials said Tuesday.

The suspension will not affect customer relations, company officials said. The repairs and restart should occur in the next few days.

The new GNP has been making paper since Oct. 17, a month and a day after Gov. Paul LePage announced that Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, N.H., had purchased the mill in escrow from Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto. The deal closed later that month.

Brookfield had closed the mill on April 1, laying off 415 workers. About 215 were hired when the mill restarted. Company officials have said they hope to restart the town mill’s paper recycling business, and the creation of supercalendered paper at its sister mill in Millinocket, if conditions permit.

No timeline has been set for those restarts, but company officials have said they hoped to see them in several months.

Cate Street has also said it has a full year of orders for the East Millinocket mill and hopes to begin producing torrefied wood at both facilities by early 2013, hiring another 220 workers.

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