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August 14, 2014

Old Town mill suspends operations 'indefinitely,' lays off 180

Old Town Fuel and Fiber, a wood pulp manufacturer, on Wednesday suspended operations "indefinitely" and laid off 180 of its 195 employees.

The Portland Press Herald reported that the shutdown was a result of increasing foreign competition and high wood and energy costs, according to a company statement.

"During this idled period ownership will be pursuing options to secure the long term viability of the facility," the company said.

Old Town City Manager Bill Mayo said in a prepared statement that "the city will work with the mill and state officials to try and find a new buyer."

The plant was acquired by Patriarch Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm, in 2008.

A press release from the Environmental Health Strategy Center in June said Old Town Fuel and Fiber was expected to open a bio-based manufacturing plant later this year.

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