Verso plans to restart its No. 3 paper machine and related pulp operation at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay. It will hire 120 people. Credit: Courtesy of Verso Corp. | BDN

Verso Corp., which last July said it had permanently shut down its No. 3 paper machine and idled 120 workers at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay, said Thursday it will upgrade the pulp line and paper machine there as it expands into new markets.

The machine and associated pulping operations were temporarily idled in January 2017 and then shut down in July as demand fell for the coated paper used in magazines and other glossy publications previously made on that machine.

The company expects to complete the upgrades and restart in the third quarter of this year. It will make packaging products.

In restarting, it expects to create 120 full-time jobs at the mill plus more jobs among Maine forest products suppliers.

“When this project is completed, the Androscoggin Mill will be more competitive in the global marketplace and better positioned for future success,” Verso CEO B. Christopher DiSantis said in a prepared statement.

He said Verso decided to reposition certain assets, and thanked Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine Technology Institute for their help with the project.

The project will cost $17 million, $4 million of which will come from a Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0 challenge grant. Funds from that grant will be released as certain project milestones are reached.

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Lori Valigra, investigative reporter for the environment, holds an M.S. in journalism from Boston University. She was a Knight journalism fellow at M.I.T. and has extensive international reporting experience...