RUMFORD – Some of the NewPage employees who lost their jobs earlier this year when a paper-making machine was shut down will be returning to work at the mill.

Twenty-three employees were laid off when the No. 11 machine went down on Feb. 29. Mill officials have begun calling back a number of those workers.

Mill spokesman Tony Lyons said eight former employees with the appropriate skills have been contacted to return to work. The call backs will fill the positions of eight employees who chose to accept the mill’s early retirement package. Other laid-off employees will likely be called back over the next few weeks and months.

The No. 11 machine, which was the oldest paper machine at the mill, was shut down permanently as part of the integration process put into effect when NewPage bought the North American holdings of Finland-based Stora Enso.

In other mill matters, construction of an electrical interconnector substation has been delayed until next year.

Lyons said the construction of a $5 million substation, which is planned for a section of the former Railroad Street and adjacent mill property, was delayed because the design has not yet been finalized by the mill, Central Maine Power Co. and Brookfield Power Co. Once the design has been agreed to, nine to 12 months are needed to obtain the components.

The project will take about 12 months to complete.

Building the substation will separate electricity produced by Brookfield Power, which bought a hydro-plant from the mill in 2006, and the co-generation plant in the mill. Once separated, the electricity will go onto the New England power grid.

The mill swapped certain parcels of land with the town for the 1,700-foot section of Railroad Street late last year. A permanent barrier will be built at the Railroad Street end of the parcel sometime this spring, Lyons said.

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