Investor working to complete financing for Millinocket pellet mill despite FAME shortfall
MILLINOCKET, Maine — The New Hampshire investment firm that could create a new market for the state’s forest products industries intends to proceed with its plans to build a $140 million pellet mill despite a recent $9 million reduction in a state bond, officials said Wednesday.
Thermogen Industries leaders are “disappointed” with a Finance Authority of Maine decision last week to reduce a $25 million bond to $16 million, but are working to close that gap with its investors, said Dammon Frecker, Thermogen’s project manager.
“While this setback is certainly unfortunate, our team’s passion and determination [are] inspiring and I have full confidence that we will prevail,” Frecker said in a statement released Wednesday. “We are working around the clock to restructure our financing plan and finalize a new path forward.”
“We are committed to developing this project and putting people back to work,” he added.
Cate Street Capital is a Portsmouth investment firm bankrolling Thermogen and Great Northern Paper Co. LLC, which owns a temporarily closed paper mill in East Millinocket and an industrial park in Millinocket where the pellet mill will be sited.
Great Northern Paper Company is a Maine-based pulp and paper manufacturer that at its peak in the 1970s and 1980s operated mills in Georgia, Maine, and Wisconsin and produced 16.4 percent of the newsprint made in the United States.
The company was acquired by Georgia-Pacific Corporation in 1990. Its name was revived in 2011 when private equity firm Cates Capital acquired Great Northern’s original Maine mills. Cate Capital now plans to replace the Millinocket mill with this pellet plant.