A convenient location and reduced operating costs sealed the deal for Portland-based International WoodFuels to build a $20 million wood pellet plant in Burnham, creating 35 new jobs and preserving about 145 others.
The facility will open next to Pride Manufacturing, the last wooden golf tee manufacturer in the United States, whose scrap wood will be used as raw material for the pellets.
The pellet mill is expected to generate 100,000 tons of pellets annually and should be open by the end of the year, according to a joint release from Maine & Co., the private business attraction firm that brokered the deal, Pride, International WoodFuels and Gov. John Baldacci's office. The site, which is located south of Pittsfield, is already permitted and construction is expected to begin later this summer.
The deal sustains Pride Manufacturing, which has been facing increased competition from China, and preserves its 145 jobs. More jobs are expected in logging and trucking sectors as the pellet plant comes online.