In this April 15, 2020, file photo, wreckage smolders at the Androscoggin Mill after an explosion at the paper mill in Jay. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

The owners of the Androscoggin Mill in Jay said Thursday that they have started a second round of reductions affecting 51 employees.

The news from Pixelle Specialty Solutions comes five months after a digester exploded and stopped pulp manufacturing and two months after 59 employees were laid off in July.

“The reductions are an unfortunate consequence of a circumstance no one expected, wanted, or caused,” Pixelle Mill Manager Jay Thiessen said in a statement.

Affected employees will get compensation, benefits and job-placement assistance and the company will determine details of additional reductions after the mill completes its evaluation of its operation options and its long-term strategy, Thiessen said.

He said Pixelle expects to continue remediation at the rupture site and long-term planning until at least the fourth quarter of this year.

The mill is operating two paper machines now to produce specialty products. It reestablished its pulp supply on April 23 with pulp bought from other Pixelle operations and other suppliers so it could resume paper manufacturing.

Pixelle, the Pennsylvania-based owner of the Jay mill, still is trying to determine the cause of the incident and identify any additional corrective and future preventative actions. It said the explosion was caused by a ruptured pressure vessel in the mill’s pulp digester. Pixelle completed its purchase of the mill in February as part of a $400 million deal with Verso Corp.

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