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March 13, 2014

FAME to renew Thermogen review in April

The Finance Authority of Maine plans to give a second review to Cate Street Capital's plans for building a wood pellet mill in Millinocket after the company decided to change the project's core technology and scope.

The Bangor Daily News reported FAME spokesman Bill Norbert said the company's latest proposal will be considered "a new or second submission" when the board reviews the new plan, likely in April. The new plan intends to use a steam-thermal process for creating wood pellets rather than a microwave-based process developed by the Scottish company, Rotawave Ltd. Cate Street estimates the new plant would cost $140 million, double the cost of its torrefaction plant plans.

The $25 million bond award was one of the largest awarded by the business financing agency.

Robert Rice, a wood scientist at the University of Maine who was selected to review the new project for FAME, told the newspaper that the steam-thermal method yields a better product that is easier to manufacture. The finance authority will also have the company Stantec review Cate Street's engineering plans and have Hilco Valuation Services analyze the real and personal property associated with the proposal.

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