The Old Town mill inches a bit closer to reopening last week, with the announcement that crews accepted the first batch of wood chips needed to restart operations at the mill,

The mill has been closed since 2015, when former owner Expera abruptly shuttered its doors. Last October 15, however, the property was bought by ND Paper LLC, a subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper of Hong Kong. Nine Dragons Paper is China’s largest producer of containerboard, which most commonly is used in making cardboard boxe.

According to a social media post, more than 400 contractors, as well as newly-hired ND Paper employees, are working hard, testing and retesting equipment and machines to ensure the mill can safely be reopened.

It initially was believed the mill would reopen as soon as April, but that timetable turned out to be unfeasible. No firm date has been announced yet, can safely and efficiently restart operations this summer,” said ND Paper in a post on social media.

ND Papers has announced it plans to invest millions of dollars in the mill. When the mill closed it was producing roughly 155,000 metric tons annually of bleached hardwood kraft pulp. ND Paper is reconfiguring the mill to operate at substantially lower manufacturing costs and anticipates it will ultimately produce 275,000 metric tons annually of unbleached kraft pulp.

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