Sappi North America awarded $1 million for Maine Forestry Recovery Initiative

Funds will be used to improve productivity and innovation in Sappi’s Maine mills while propelling industry-leading projects and sustainable development.

Boston-based Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, has received a $1 million grant from theMaine Technology Institute’s Forestry Recovery Initiative to improve productivity and reduce energy in its Somerset Mill. The grant funds will be used to improve Sappi’s pulp yield in the Somerset Mill, specifically through a new chip-treatment process that will improve productivity, lower energy consumption, and reduce the use of pulping chemicals in Sappi Mills.

"Our team is excited to be a recipient of this grant, and we are especially thankful to the state of Maine and Governor Mills for supporting Maine’s forestry industry," says Mike Haws, president and CEO of Sappi North America. "With robust demand for paper and packaging products, we at Sappi are continuously looking for the most innovative processes to create sustainably made products. Not only will the grant facilitate improved productivity, but it will also support the long-term viability of the Skowhegan and Westbrook mills.”

The Forestry Recovery Initiative deploys grants to help Maine loggers, foresters, lumber yards, and other members of Maine's forest products sector recover financial loss caused by the pandemic, develop new wood products, and upgrade infrastructure to strengthen supply chains and sell products to new markets. It is part of a three-phase initiative in Maine to allocate a $20 million award from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to mitigate damage caused by the pandemic.

Sappi supports more than 3,300 jobs in Maine and contributes to the innovation economy and entrepreneurial community by partnering with the University of Maine for pulping and forestry research as well as product prototyping. The University of Maine will be a key partner in Sappi’s project.