Sappi paper has announced that it's permanently shutting down a paper machine at its mill in Westbrook, as well as major components of the Westbrook mill's energy complex. The company says this will result in the layoff of 75 employees, and the work will be shifted to mills in Showhegan and Minnesota.
Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, says the announcement represents another blow to the state's logging industry, as Sappi's Westbrook facility is one of only two in that region that can take the type of debris that is generated as part of logging operations.
“Without it, it impacts, obviously, up to one hundred logging and trucking jobs, it represents about 3,000 truck loads of wood per year, about $7.5 million of direct economic impact.”
In a press statement, Gov. Janet Mills says the state is ready to help those being laid off by providing unemployment insurance, job training and other assistance.