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Author Topic: RIP Jay Maine Mill  (Read 3194 times)

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Offline peakbagger

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RIP Jay Maine Mill
« on: September 20, 2022, 05:02:08 PM »
Pixelle Specialty Solutions to Close Mill in Jay, Maine Q1 2023 | Business Wire  It was just a matter to time since the digester explosion. 

Offline Riwaka

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2022, 09:45:21 PM »
Is the wood going to end up as wood pellets for Europe? A sea port in Maine is about 2200 nautical miles closer to Europe than somewhere in the South like a Mississippi sea port for loading wood pellets.

Offline Southside

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2022, 09:52:18 PM »
Been a couple of attempts / false starts on bulk pellets, torrified wood, going to Europe via a shuttered Maine mill over the past decade or so.  I don't think so much as a bag has shipped yet. 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2022, 06:17:24 AM »
I have no idea how many are working there now.
Just saw on the news 230.
It's been going down for years.
I wonder what will go there now.
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Offline 711ac

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2022, 07:23:12 AM »
Just heard this on the radio news with my coffee. 
Sad news for Maine and the whole woods industry.
We have some terrible Gov't here and I think most of this can be laid at their feet. They hate business. 

Offline maineshops

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2022, 08:06:14 AM »
Yup ,we need to get General Mills out and get a business man in there.
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Offline OntarioAl

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2022, 08:13:56 AM »
Join the club Kenora Fort Frances Thunder Bay (3 0f 4 gone) Red Rock Marathon Sault Ste Marie Iroquois Falls All these mills gone just foundation slabs left
Al
Al Raman

Offline nativewolf

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2022, 08:36:19 AM »
Life keeps changing, pulp mills didnt exist, then they did and sometime in the future they will hardly matter.  Change is the constant.  

Various governments around the world have tried to stave off closure of mills, in Maine they have been more successful than most so instead of complaining you should actually be thankful.  In MD the last mill closed, in Virginia there is one buyer/ mill operator.  

Government cant fight the market not in TN where that mill closed last year not in Maine, nor in Wi where the mills closed 2 years ago.  



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Offline nativewolf

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2022, 08:41:31 AM »
Been a couple of attempts / false starts on bulk pellets, torrified wood, going to Europe via a shuttered Maine mill over the past decade or so.  I don't think so much as a bag has shipped yet.
They tried to get one of my clients to take  it and ship chips to the eu.  He got excited, went to see it, did numbers and say no thanks.  Lose money on every ship.  That whole business only exists because of a regulatory trick in eu.  It is under attack and I would not count on it as a business.  If they remove the green label from wood chips than Prices fall even more.  
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2022, 10:29:09 AM »
You guys are talking above my knowledge but why do they close mills in one state and build a new one here in Michigan? Maybe type of wood or easy of getting/selling. 🤷‍♂️ But we also lost three outlets in the past couple decades. Two big pulp mills. And a lot of co-gen plants. Its kind of a big circle that makes the world go round. 🤷‍♂️

Online beenthere

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2022, 01:51:50 PM »
A few reasons I can think of.. but a mill is somewhat like an expensive piece of machinery.. when the maintenance gets to a point that buying new is necessary, it is done. New techniques in processing can make the decision to shut down an old factory in one place and move to another place.
Also, rules change the game whether it be for the process and air emissions or water discharge. Taxes likely also play a part as well as age of workforce which can increase costs due to workers' time in the job.
Likely many factors enter into closing a mill, and money is probably the bottom line as with most decisions.
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Online barbender

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2022, 01:58:26 PM »
We've lost 4 OSB plants, 3-4 paper mills, and I can't think of what else in the last 20 years. The high point in my life time fir the wood industry was the late 90's. Even fools were making good money, I think they were figuring at the time we were harvesting faster than the growth rate. Now we probably harvest 1/3 of that.

 Huber is a bright spot, they are laying ground work for a new OSB mill in Cohasset, MN. Of course there are environmentalists trying to tie it up in court, but I'm hopeful it will be a go. Huber manufactures the Advantech OSB that has the pre-applied moisture barrier, you just have to tape the seams. It has really taken the market by storm, I hope this mill goes through!
Too many irons in the fire

Online beenthere

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2022, 02:21:10 PM »
I understand the Advantech OSB has moisture resistance so it will hold up better in moist conditions, than conventional OSB. 

Don't understand the "tape the seams" suggestion, and wonder what the application would be for this OSB product beyond being used for sheathing. 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2022, 02:22:09 PM »
Huber has been the one mill around these parts that hasn't been belly aching for some sort of bailout or on and off shutdowns and sales turnovers. They have a plant in Easton, Maine. Been there at least 35 years chugging along.
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Offline peakbagger

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2022, 03:28:49 PM »
LP just rebuilt a plant in Northern Maine to make a new siding product that is in great demand. 

The Jay mill was a "state of the art" mill built to make coated paper. It was a very profitable grade as 40 years ago everyone got glossy magazines and advertisements. Unfortunately it was too profitable and too many mills got into coated paper all over the country. Some companies like Madison paper and Millinocket Maine spent lots of money to build machines to make a lower priced product that nibbled away at the market. Offshore competition also appeared. Then the internet came in and spoiled the show. Demand for coated started heading down and never came back. IP bought one of the competitors in Maine, Bucksport, and eventually shut them down. New Page bought Rumford who also was a coated producer after Mead stripped off the land and sold it. New Page was supposed to switch Rumford to some other grade than coated but never did, they sold the hydro electric plants and dumped what was left on another clueless owner who eventually sold it for near scrap value to the Chinese. Madison Papers and Millinocket shut down. IP in Jay also had a disastrous strike that branded the mill with a bad reputation that still exists today. IP saw the writing on the wall and after dumping their reimaging timberland, sold to hedge fund who ultimate sold the hydros and then sold what was left to Pixelle for cheap. Meanwhile a lot of the remaining printing went offshore so the companies who made the printing paper went offshore. Thus there was a glut of coated in the US market and no signs of it getting better.

Pixelle could make good pulp but when the digester blew up several years ago, they realized they had an uncompleted mill in need of very expensive repairs, reportedly for far more than they paid for the entire place. Even without the loss of the digester, it is likely the mill would have closed under their ownership.

Politicians including the former Maine governor may show up at the gate for a photo op but they cannot change the world market. East Millinocket went down under LePage's watch (it was going down under the prior governor, but LePage got the booby prize). The decline of the pulp & paper industry in Maine has been going on for at least 30 years and every governor's goal has been to hope another mill does not go down under their watch. Nine Dragons in Rumford is stumbling along with lots of plans but no follow through, it would be scrapped by now if not bought by a Chinese billionaire who is using it as a training ground for her family. All the plans that are floated in public to switch away from coated are plans that have been tried and failed elsewhere. Talk to any long term employee and they uniformly say, the new managers are clueless. Sappi is also a coated mill that has been desperately trying to get away from coated, they switched to grease resistant papers on some grades and unfortunately, they use PFOAs in the coating. The PFOA went to their treatment plant and the sludge was given away to farmers for soil amendments so tens of thousands of acres of farmland as well as the Kennebec River is now ground zero for PFOA contamination. At some point that is going to cost Sappi a bundle. That and issues with their water intakes on the Kennebec makes that mill a shaky proposition. 

The only positive potential for growth in the Maine fiber industry is that GoLab a Maine startup is rebuilding the Madison mill to make a wood fiber based insulation product called TimberHP. Its very popular in Europe for "green building" but it is not made in the US currently and not cost effective to ship (big bulky and low cost). They bought a used manufacturing line in Europe and moved it to Madison. It is a continuous product made 24/7. They are planning to go into production in early 2023 so it lines up with the Jay closure and is not that far away from Jay. My guess is that some of the folks at Jay will be applying to the new Madison mill. The tradeoff is most mills have been shrinking for years and the folks left are high on the seniority list so there are not a lot of young folks working at the mills. Rotating shift work is not easy and there are known health effects for working rotating shifts, many papermakers were born into it and are used to it so they are logical employees as most people not used to them would not stay long.    

        

Offline snowstorm

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2022, 06:28:40 PM »
I see someone doesnt like us pointing out the truth about the one behind the desk in Augusta. I hauled a lot of wood to jay over the years. When the I p opened it it was a steady market the worse thing up here was when verso bought it. They scraped Bucksport cause they didnt want anyone else to have it. Rumford the feds said they had to sell it. They would have to much of the market. That was sold to n d paper from china. They not only made a go of it but they are putting a lot of cash into it. Along with rumford they revived the old town mill. Now if one of them would raise the price of soft wood. Thats a bit low while the hard wood is up there

Offline peakbagger

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2022, 06:56:31 PM »
I live in NH so I do not have a dog in that fight. Just explain to me how a politician in Maine can revive the coated paper market in the US that has been sinking for 30 years? 

Offline snowstorm

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2022, 07:16:06 PM »
She dose not help anything. And the jay mill was not making coated paper. 

Offline nativewolf

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2022, 07:19:52 PM »
I live in NH so I do not have a dog in that fight. Just explain to me how a politician in Maine can revive the coated paper market in the US that has been sinking for 30 years?
I don't have a dog in it either.  I'm all ears.  Glad to hear what we could do here in Virginia or MD or PA (just had a mill closed).
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Offline Southside

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Re: RIP Jay Maine Mill
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2022, 10:00:54 PM »
Ohh believe me I could pitch in with the politics of all this, as I got really, really, raked over the coals due to politics when Lincoln was resurrected from the dead the last time, but - Lets keep the politics out of it so this does not get moved into the restricted section. 

Personally I think the final nail in the coffin was the digester blowing up, same as when the recovery boiler blew at Lincoln.  I don't see a pulp and paper mill doing well as only a paper mill, way too many different logistics.  
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