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The federal government will award $1.25 million in grants to support forest-industry development projects at the University of Maine and in East Millinocket.
UMaine will receive $1 million to build a demonstration-scale nanocellulose plant, and the town will get $250,000 to support the acquisition of a former East Millinocket paper mill site, according to a news release Monday from U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine.
The grants are from the Northern Border Regional Commission, which funds infrastructure projects throughout northern and central Maine, as well as northern New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
“This substantial investment in Maine’s forest economy will help those who have relied on this crucial sector for generations,” said Collins and King in a joint statement. “As our state continues its leadership in developing new sustainable bio-based technologies that create jobs, these awards will bolster efforts by UMaine and the Town of East Millinocket to open more opportunities in rural communities.”
Collins and King said the funded projects align with the recommendations of the Forest Opportunity Roadmap, an industry-led initiative unveiled last year that aims to diversify the state’s wood products businesses, attract investments, and develop greater economic prosperity for rural communities impacted by mill closures.
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