Western Polymer Corporation to invest $1 million in Starch plant in Maine

Western Polymer Corporation to invest $1 million in Starch plant in Maine
February 21, 2014

Western Polymer Corporation (WPC), in partnership with LTWAW, LLC, was recently certified as eligible to receive economic development incentives from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) for its manufacturing facility in Fort Fairfield. Over the next five years, the company is poised to invest as much as $1 million in facility upgrades and training at the former Aroostook Starch Company. WPC may also hire as many as five new employees over the next few years, in addition to the ten employees that were hired since their acquisition of the facility.

“Drawing new private investment to Maine is a vital strategy for our continued economic progress,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “As I often say, investment goes where it is welcomed and stays where it is appreciated. I am pleased that Western Polymer is making its investment here, and we will do all we can to let them know their investment is welcomed and greatly appreciated.”

WPC, which purchased the plant and equipment of the former Aroostook Starch Company in July 2013, is a manufacturer of potato starch products used mainly in paper processing. The company’s investments in the Fort Fairfield facility include improvements to the building, employee training and the purchase of machinery, equipment, and electronics.

Lynn Townsend-White, President/CEO of WPC, described their move to Maine as a quantifiable advantage and also discussed the specific benefits of the DECD 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.”

Townsend-White went on to say, “We are currently building our base of business and have invested heavily in upgrades to the plant and employees. DECD’s programs of assistance will help us to be more competitive.”

WPC’s relationship with DECD was and is currently maintained through Governor LePage Account Executive (GAX) Brian Doyle, who reached out to the company shortly after their arrival in Maine. Doyle was able to help solidify WPC’s application for DECD-approved aid, and will remain a liaison to the company moving forward.

“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.”

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