Maine’s first wood pellet manufacturer to expand with PTDZ benefits – but DECD neglects to say the company already had PTDZ status

By Ramona du Houx - March 19th, 2014 

DECD Commissioner John Richardson, the owners and CEO of Corinth Wood Pellets and Governor John Baldacci during the ribon cutting ceremony in 2007, when the company originally was designated with PTDZ status. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Corinth Pellets, LLC announced that they will invest upwards of $7 million on a pellet manufacturing facility located in Penobscot County. Major work is planned for facility and equipment upgrades. The investment is expected to lead to the creation of 18 new jobs for the wood pellet manufacturer.

The facility in Corinth has been operational since 2007, when it originally qualified for Pine Tree Development Zone (PTDZ) status and used those benefits to get started. The Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner (DECD), John Richardson and Jack Cashman, the governor’s economic advisor, helped negotiate the details under the Baldacci administration, which created PTDZ’s.

At a celebration that established Corinth Wood Pellets PTDZ status in 2007 Gov. John Baldacci said, “Maine is the Saudi Arabia of wood.” And his administration helped wood pellet manufacturing take root in the state.

Corinth Pellet officials credit Maine’s business-friendly approach as a determining factor to implementing their expansion strategy which has earned them additional PTDZ benefits. The press release from the DECD today neglected to mention that Corinth Pellets had already been certified as a PTDZ.(see the ceremony article of 2007 here.)

The company plans to hire 18 more employees and renovate its facility and equipment over the next two years.

“The incentive package, presented by DECD, will give us the ability to purchase the equipment needed to increase production and hire more people,” said Corinth Pellets Chief Financial Officer Ken Carle.

The DECD press release neglected to mention the company already had PTDZ status. No one at the DECD returned a call of enquiry.