The Androscoggin Mill will close between March 6 and 9 instead of late April.
The Pixelle Specialty Solutions paper mill stands against a cloudy sky in Jay on Sept. 28, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The mill in Jay will be closing more than a month earlier than expected.

In September, Pixelle Specialty Solutions said it was closing the Androscoggin Mill permanently, leaving 230 people without jobs.

The closure was originally scheduled for the end of April. But now the mill will close between March 6 and 9.

“The company calculated the potential to need to operate well into April last fall. At that time, customer needs for transitional inventories were taken into consideration. As the mill has continued to run for this purpose, these customers have informed Pixelle that their transitional plans have met their objectives. As such, we are discontinuing operations earlier than anticipated last fall,” Pixelle Specialty Solutions said in a statement.

The Maine Department of Labor said in September it was working with employees to try and find them help.

Pixelle Specialty Solutions said in September the mill was closing because it was no longer “economically feasible” to stay open following the explosion and destruction of its two pulp digesters in 2020.

After the mill in Jay shuts down, it will leave only six other operating paper mills across Maine.

It’s an industry that once peaked at a few dozen mills, sustaining more than 20,000 jobs.

State data show the state’s paper industry still brings in more than $2 billion a year in sales. While the number of mills overall have declined, experts believe the ones still running have a good footing that should set the industry up for future investment.