BERLIN, N.H. (AP) – City officials met with the head of New England Wood Pellet Inc. on Wednesday as they seek to find businesses that could absorb wood supply now that the local pulp mill is closing.

Earlier this month, Fraser Papers announced it will close the mill on May 6. Noting that the plant used about 900,000 tons of low-grade wood annually, Berlin Mayor Robert Danderson has sought out businesses that could use the wood supply. Danderson pointed out that Groveton Paper Board, which closed this month, was also a major consumer of wood.

Danderson pushed for a meeting with the Jaffrey-based pellet company, which has announced it is looking at sites in Massachusetts and New York for new plants.

On Wednesday, he met with company president Steve Walker and Charles Niebling, director of public affairs. Also attending were Phil Bryce, a forester, and Stu Arnett, state director of Economic Development. New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association Executive Director Jasen Stock joined via conference call.

Danderson would say only that the meeting had been extremely interesting and he was very impressed with Walker.

Public Service of New Hampshire has said it is interested in constructing a 50-megawatt wood-burning power plant in Berlin. It would burn about 450,000 tons of wood annually.


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