February 13, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today applauded an announcement from LignaCLT Maine, LLC that it will become the first Maine-based cross-laminated timber (CLT) company in the state. The company will open its new facility at the former Great Northern Paper mill site in Millinocket and plans to create more than 100 new jobs in the Katahdin region over five years.
“Today’s announcement is wonderful news for the Millinocket community, the Katahdin region, and the hardworking men and women in Maine’s forest products industry,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “Maine’s vast timber resources provide us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our state’s traditional industries through innovative technologies like cross-laminated timber. With new jobs and new opportunity in our forest products industry, we can support Maine’s rural communities and grow the economy across our state.”
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an emerging wood technology that can be used in major construction projects. While wood products have been an integral part of construction for centuries, most wood buildings do not exceed three to four stories in height. However, with recent developments in CLT and wood products engineering, alongside other new technologies, it is now possible to use wood to construct taller structures.
LignaTerra, the parent company of LignaCLT Maine, is a company committed to growing timber construction and introducing new markets to the renewable, efficient potential of wood buildings. The facility in Millinocket will be located at the former Great Northern Paper mill site now owned by Our Katahdin, a volunteer-driven nonprofit working to promote and expand economic development in the Katahdin region. In January 2017, Our Katahdin acquired the former mill in Millinocket and seeks to renovate the site and encourage new business growth.
The announcement builds on the strategies outlined by the Economic Development Assessment Team – originally requested in March 2016 by Senators Collins and King – which brought together local, state, federal, and industry partners to work together to build a bottom-up strategy to foster innovation and commercialization for the future of Maine’s forest-based economy. The January 2017 assessment from the EDAT outlined steps to leverage resources to redevelop former industrial sites and support the viability of impacted mill communities to grow Maine’s rural economy.
Through their work in the Senate, Senators Collins and King have been staunch advocates for Maine’s forest products industry. They are both original cosponsors of the Timber Innovation Act, bipartisan legislation that aims to support the forest products industry by incentivizing investment through the National Forest Products Lab and American colleges and universities to conduct research on new methods for the construction of wood buildings.