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May 16, 2017

Is Lincoln the front-runner in Poland Spring's hunt for new bottling plant?

Poland Spring’s search for the best Maine location to build a new $50 million bottling plant appears to be zeroing in on the Lincoln area over other identified possibilities.

Maine Public reported that Poland Spring’s senior natural resource manager Thomas Brennan told the board of the Lincoln Water District that the company’s test wells show the Lincoln area as having sufficient capacity to sustain a bottling plant. 

“For my part as a hydrogeologist, this is where we’re going to do it. That’s going to be my advice to the company,” Brennan said, according to the Maine Public report.

Maine Public reported that Lincoln Water District Superintendent Jeff Day said the district could easily support Poland Spring, noting that the shuttered Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC paper mill, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2015, had used 175 million gallons of water annually for decades.

Nestle-owned Poland Spring also is exploring locations in Chester, Fryeburg, Greenbush, Howland, Passadumkeag and Rumford, Maine Public reported.

Poland Spring's economic impact

In February, when Poland Spring announced its expansion plans, the company stated its goal is to increase production capacity by nearly 45% and to open a new plant sometime between 2020 and 2022. 

Poland Spring is one of Maine's largest employers, employing more than 800 Maine people in three bottling facilities — Poland Spring, Hollis and Kingfield — and at spring sites in Fryeburg, Poland, Denmark, Dallas Plantation, Pierce Pond Township, according to the company's website. Its Hollis facility is the largest in North America and employs nearly half of the company's Maine workforce. 

It reports on its website that it spends $60 million annually in Maine doing business with other Maine businesses. It also invested in 2009 $60 million to open a bottling facility in Kingfield that now has 60 full-time and seasonal employees and over $4 million to construct a spring water project in Fryeburg and Denmark, with more than 90% of the contracts being awarded to Maine contractors.

Read more

Shuttered Lincoln mill to seek $1.1 million from vendors

PUC approves Poland Spring plan to tap Lincoln's water

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