The high cost of electricity in Maine has claimed another victim, at least in the short term.
Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Limited, the Chinese-owned company that restarted the Old Town paper mill in 2019, announced this week it would cease operations in 60-90 days due to the unsustainable cost of energy and wood pulp, as well as market conditions.
“We will be taking extended downtime at our Old Town, ME mill due to the rising cost of fiber, along with energy costs and market conditions,” company spokesperson Jay Capron said in a statement.
The company’s statement did not indicate when it might reopen.
The average commercial energy price in Maine is 26 percent higher than the national average, according to EnergyBot, a tool that compares American electricity prices.
The closure will affect some 200 employees, but the mill has been trying to connect them with similar positions in faraway Rumford, where the company operates another mill.