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Maine mill calls Port Hawkesbury Paper “subsidized competition”


January 13, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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UPM’s supercalendered paper mill in Madison, Maine, is taking a temporary shutdown for several weeks, citing international competition, energy costs and market conditions, reports the Bangor Daily News.

UPM’s supercalendered paper mill in Madison, Maine, is taking a temporary shutdown for several weeks, citing international competition, energy costs and market conditions, reports the Bangor Daily News.

In a letter advising Maine’s congressional delegation of the shutdown, Russ Drechsel, manager of the mill and president of Madison Paper Industries, is said to complain about “subsidies” given to a competing mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.

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Drechsel told the Bangor newspaper that competition from Port Hawkesbury Paper makes it “difficult for the Madison mill to offer a competitive price as it faces rising power costs during the winter.”

Two U.S. senators representing Maine told the newspaper they have also raised the issue with the U.S. trade representative and that they will continue to press the Obama administration to investigate this subsidy.

When Port Hawkesbury Paper re-opened under new ownership in 2012, Pulp & Paper Canada reported that the company had been promised a financial package which included: a $24-million loan to improve productivity and efficiency, a $40-million repayable loan for working capital, $1.5 million to train workers, $20 million to buy 51,500 acres of land, and $3.8 million annually, for 10 years, from the forestry restructuring fund to support sustainable harvesting and forest land management.