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Verso to invest $17m to upgrade paper machine in Maine facility in US

Verso is planning to invest $17m to upgrade the shuttered pulp line and No. 3 paper machine at its facility in Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, US, to produce packaging products.

The firm has temporarily closed the paper machine and associated pulping capacity at the mill in January 2017. The facility was closed in July 2017 due to reduced demand for the graphic paper products.

Planned to be completed in the third quarter of 2018, the upgrade project is expected to hep the company continue to diversify its product mix into growing market segments.

In addition to create approximately 120 full-time jobs at the mill, the project is expected generate additional jobs throughout the Maine forest products supply chain.

Verso CEO Christopher DiSantis said: "Verso identified this upgrade and restart of the No. 3 paper machine and associated equipment at the Androscoggin Mill as part of our continuing development of a holistic strategy that includes repositioning of certain assets, and we want to thank Governor LePage and the Maine Technology Institute for their support in helping to make it possible.

"When this project is completed, the Androscoggin Mill will be more competitive in the global marketplace and better positioned for future success."

Of the total estimated total capital for the upgrade project, $4m will come from a Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0 challenge grant which is administered by the Maine Technology Institute.

In 2017, Verso has introduced natural kraft (NK) oil and grease resistant (OGR) paper options for foodservice and microwave popcorn bag applications.

The GlazeArmor natural kraft options are an addition to the portfolio of Verso’s machine-glazed laminating and converting papers, which are used by flexible packaging converters worldwide.

Verso is engaged in producing printing and specialty papers and pulp.