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NewPage finalizes sale in Niagara – Gannett Wisconsin Media

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Closed paper mill, assets purchased

By Nathan Phelps • Gannett Wisconsin Media • February 15, 2011

The property and assets of the former NewPage paper mill in Niagara have been sold to Niagara Development LLC.

Niagara Development plans to market the property to industrial users that can take advantage of the building and the timber shed, according to New North, an 18-county regional economic development organization based in De Pere.

Market development for the site has been focused toward alternative energy, namely those based on woody biomass, according to the release.

“We’re communicating with many and inviting all,” Eric J. Spirtas, president of Niagara Development, said Monday. “A lot of times when people see a plant sitting idle, they think it’s only going to do what it did. … We’re going to be available to any and all.”

New North and the Marinette County Association for Business and Industry have conducted a feasibility study on biofuel production at the site — including cellulosic ethanol production.

“The Niagara, Wis., site has all the components for a state-of-the-art advanced biofuels facility,” Jan Hacker, who conducted the study, said in a press release. “The site has access to significant supplies of raw material, a supplier network already in place, physical infrastructure in the form of large buildings, log yards, air and water treatment systems and both road and rail access.”

Niagara Development purchased 1,500 acres in the deal that closed Friday.

“This isn’t a last-minute purchase … this has been months of analysis and transitional planning,” Spirtas said.

The NewPage Niagara facility permanently closed in July 2008 due to “a significant decrease in demand for coated paper,” according to NewPage, which also closed a mill in Kimberly.

The mill produced about 250,000 tons of lightweight-coated groundwood papers used in magazines and catalogs.

Nathan Phelps writes for the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Read more: http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110215/APC03/102150417/NewPage-finalizes-sale-in-Niagara#ixzz1EAuHiMQE
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