A plan to manufacture a new type of wood-derived fuel in Millinocket got a boost with Gov. Paul LePage's signing of the supplemental budget. The budget increases the amount of tax credits Cate Street Capital can receive for the energy project to $40 million.
Cate Street Capital, which bought the former Katahdin Paper Co. mills in northern Maine, plans to develop a $35 million torrefied wood manufacturing facility at the idled paper mill. The budget bill includes an amendment to the state's New Markets Capital Investment Program, which previously capped the amount of credits one business could receive at $10 million, according to a press release from Maine Senate Republicans.
Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry, and Sen. Doug Thomas, R-Ripley, said the increase to $40 million not only allows Cate Street to pursue its plan, but also could attract greater interest from qualified businesses willing and able to invest in rural Maine, according to the release.
The Legislature in 2011 approved the New Market Capital Investment Program, which offers a total of $250 million in tax credits to qualified businesses for economic development in needed areas.
In December, the New Hampshire-based Cate Street bought the North American rights to manufacture the torrefied wood technology through a subsidiary, Thermogen Industries. The technology would replace coal burned at electricity plants. Cate Street also plans to market the property as an industrial park to bring new manufacturers to the region.