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Former paper mill in Jay, Maine set to re-open as particle board manufacturer in a few years

JAY, Maine (From news reports) - The Androscoggin mill, which employed hundreds of people in this area for years, is coming back.

A developer is going to lease a portion of the land that the mill currently sits on to create high quality-oriented strand board.

The paper mill closed down in 2023, a few years after an explosion put the future of the mill in jeopardy.

"Although I was deeply relieved that no one was injured, I was concerned for the livelihoods of the workers and for the future of the mill itself and for this very community," said Gov. Janet Mills, who was in Jay to help announce the new plans.

In December, a group named JGT2 purchased the mill from Pixelle. The new group will be leasing 100 acres of land to Godfrey Forest Products, a developer of engineered wood products, they specialize in making oriented strand board.

"When I, like so many others, learned of the pulp mill explosion, you'll forgive me, but I saw an opportunity," said John Godfrey, the founder of Godfrey Forest Products.

OSB is used primarily in building single and multi-family residential homes, where it is used as the structural element in walls, roofs and floors.

All products made at the mill in Jay would be sold to major home improvement retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot throughout the northeast.

"OSB has made its way in in largely replacing plywood in residential construction because it can use trees of most any size and most any species and takes the material that nobody else wants," Godfrey said.

GFP, which has had success developing and managing OSB production sites in North America, says the investment will be in the hundreds of millions, but will create 125 good paying jobs in the town of Jay.

"While there's plenty of work ahead, today's announcement is an important milestone on the road to a new future, a future for this historic mill and progress in creating stronger, more diverse forest products sector in Maine," Mills said.

Godfrey says that between permitting and ordering and installing machines to run the mill, production should start in about two and a half years.

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