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GPT boiler not yet fueled by natural gas

October 27, 2011
GORHAM — The hot tap into the TransCanada natural gas pipeline was not completed in time so that this lower-cost fuel could run a boiler on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Gorham Paper and Tissue (GPT) paper mill, reported mill manager Willis Blevins in a Thursday morning telephone interview.

It's possible, Blevins said, that the tap and testing could be finished in time so that this cost-saving measure could be in operation by Friday, Oct. 28. If all three existing paper machines are running at once, firing the GPT boilers with natural gas would save $1 million a month. So far, the three paper machines have not been run simultaneously, however. The no. 9 toweling machine — a.k.a. "Mr. Nibroc" — is now running 24/7.

The tissue machine that is part of GPT's long-range business plan is expected to be profitable from day one because of the availability of natural gas.

The new mill owner continues to serve as an ambassador for the Androscoggin Valley. CEO Lynn Tilton of Patriarch Partners, who purchased the then-shuttered paper mill, will be interviewed on Barbara Walters' 20/20 TV program on Friday, Oct. 28, according to GPT president Dick Arnold of Old Town, Me.

Tilton is also slated to be the early morning keynote speaker at the Ninth Annual Governor's Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Manchester.

Patriarch Partners, LLC, is a New York investment firm that specializes in acquiring distressed manufacturing companies and making them profitable. The Business and Industry Association (BIA), in partnership with New Hampshire High Technology Council, New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership and The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, is sponsoring the conference.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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