Millinocket Wood Pellet Project Loses Key Funding

Jul 1, 2014

The company planning to build a wood pellet plant at the site of the former Great Northern Paper mill in Millinocket has lost some key funding for the project.

CEI Capital Management, a for-profit subsidiary of Coastal Enterprises Inc., based in Brunswick, told the Portland Press Herald that it will withhold $20 million it planned to invest in the company, known as Thermogen Industries, and an additional undisclosed amount. The funds are from two different tax credit programs.

Thermogen has been struggling to finance its $140 million wood pellet project, which the company says would provide 55 jobs in Millinocket. In April, the Finance Authority of Maine reduced its proposed bond for the project from $25 million to $16 million, a loss of another $9 million.

Thermogen is owned by an investment fund managed by Cate Street Capital, a New Hampshire-based private equity firm.  Cate Street Managing Director Alexandra Ritchie told the paper that the loss of the funding isn't a "reflection of the project," which she says continues to move forward.