Western Polymer Corporation (WPC) yesterday announced the purchase of the manufacturing plant and equipment of Aroostook Starch Company, LLC, in Fort Fairfield, Maine. This acquisition will be the third starch manufacturing site for the Corporation.
Western Polymer will continue to process food grade potato starch at this location after some upgrades to the plant and equipment. Acquiring the Maine location will strategically diversify the company, broadening its scope of business across the United States.
Townsend-White said that the potato processors in Aroostook County attracted the company to the area, as did the workforce.
“The business has been in receivership since May and we were the successful bidders,” Lynn Townsend-White, president and CEO of Western Polymer, said Tuesday. The Fort Fairfield facility “has been shut down since the end of May, and we have hired back most of the employees, which leaves us with approximately 10 people on staff. We plan to open up on July 8 to make some repairs and begin work.”
Aroostook Starch was founded in 2001 by Nivoba, a firm from the Netherlands, to produce starch from leftover and culled potatoes. When the plant first opened, 35 employees were on staff to help produce 50,000 to 60,000 tons of starch per year. A few years later, the company was acquired by German-based Emsland, which shut down the facility in 2005 after the plant began losing money. Starch Partners LLC took over ownership in 2006.
Western Polymer’s Moses Lake plant has been operating since 1952 and currently manufactures industrial starch products primarily used in the paper industry. The Moses Lake, Washington headquarters is located in the agriculturally rich Columbia Basin region of the state. WPC’s second starch plant, built in 2001, is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota and processes many of the same starch products as the Moses Lake facility. Western Polymer is ISO 9001:2008 Certified and Kosher Certified.
Source: Western Polymer Company/Bangor Daily News