Full-scale commercial biofuel plant being considered at closed Maine paper mill

OLD TOWN, Maine – A shuttered paper mill in Maine is being considered to become the site of a $60 million production facility to turn wood fiber into jet fuel.

“The Old Town mill is one of the sites we’re looking at, but I think we can build several plants,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, president of Biofine Technology LLC in Framingham, Massachusetts.

With technology developed by the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, Biofine’s plant could convert 200 tons of biomass a day into 12,000 tons of crude oil. That oil would then be converted into diesel and jet fuel.

The company hopes to break ground in a year, Fitzpatrick said, if he can make arrangements with the mill’s owner and get financing from investors.

Fitzpatrick made the announcement at the University of Maine’s Technology Research Center, where media, government officials, and business personnel were given a tour of a pilot plant located inside the university’s facility in a corner of the mill.

The mill site includes a pulp mill, a 400,000-square-foot warehouse, and a biomass boiler.

Canadian lumber giant Canfor is currently developing a commercial-scale biocrude oil plant in Vancouver.


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].