Millinocket Will Be Future Home Of New Wood Manufacturing Facility

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - In the early 1990s, Cross Laminated Timber was invented in Eastern Europe.

In about a year's time, a North Carolina group - LignaCLT Maine, LLC will be manufacturing the building material in a region of Maine that really needs the jobs.

The announcement was made Tuesday at Husson University. "They'll become the first Maine based manufacturing company of innovative Cross Laminated Timber, also known as CLT, and other mass timber products here in our state. The company will open their new facility in Millinocket."

"Being able to create jobs and sustain jobs and utilize a core building product that is environmentally responsible, those are kind of the things that really make sense to us," said Nick Holgorsen, Founding Partner, LignaCLT Maine, LLC. "And being able to figure out how all this process comes together with all of that in mind, it just seems like, it is a perfect match"

The amount of money being invested was not released, but the plan is to use a resource that is plentiful in the state of Maine.

"There couldn't be a better material available than the spruce that we have here in Maine. We typically use a low valued soft wood,"said Holgorsen. "So what they do is they lay out long tables of 1x4's, 2x8's, whatever it is that can come in to this process. They'll lay it down in a single layer all in the same direction and then they'll put a layer of glue on it and then they'll put another one on top of it at a right angle of the same material and it just goes back and forth in cross lamination." "But it's a viable product structurally that competes with concrete and steel."

It can be used in construction projects around the country and will be shipped to sites nationwide.

The next step is to break ground this summer on a manufacturing facility at the site of the old Great Northern Paper mill with hopes to be up and running in about a year.

That site is now owned by Our Katahdin, a volunteer-based group focused on economic development in the Katahdin region.

"With the mill being closed back in 2008 and having this announcement today, I think it will be good for the people in Millinocket," said Joseph Clark, Chair Millinocket Town Council. "But not only that, but for the entire northern Penobscot and southern Penobscot counties. If you have a manufacturing facility in Millinocket, it just ripples around the county."

Officials said they have a commitment for orders to keep at least one shift going once they get underway and hopefully in five years time, they will employ 100 people.