Western Polymer Set to Revive Starch Enterprise in Fort Fairfield
A one million dollar investment in facility upgrades and training at the former Aroostook Starch Company is expected to add more jobs in Fort Fairfield over the next few years.
Western Polymer Corporation, in partnership with LTWAW, LLC was recently certified as eligible to receive economic development incentives from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development for its Fort Fairfield manufacturing facility.
"I am pleased that Western Polymer is making its investment here," said Governor Paul LePage. "We will do all we can to let them know their investment is welcomed and greatly appreciated."
Western Polymer, based in Washington State, purchased Aroostook Starch Company in July 2013. President and CEO Lynn Townsend-White described the move to northern Maine as a quantifiable advantage and also discussed the specific benefits of the Maine DECD's incentives to the project.
"We have worked with paper mills in Maine, but have never had a facility any further east than North Dakota," said Townsend-White. "Since Maine is another potato producing region, it was a good strategic move for our company. Although our concentration has primarily been in providing industrial grade potato starch to the paper industry, our Maine plant allows us the opportunity to diversify by manufacturing food grade potato starch."
"We're very excited for opportunities to help generate job and business growth in Maine," said DECD Commissioner George Gervais. "By way of our versatile economic tool kit and our knowledgeable Governor's Account Executives, companies like Western Polymer are assured that the State of Maine will provide whatever assistance and support is available to help them compete. It's a win-win for the people of Fort Fairfield and, indeed, for all of Maine."
The Fort Fairfield plant currently employs 10 people and has plans to add 5 new positions in the next few years.