BETHEL — Bethel-based Maine Energy Systems LLC has finalized an agreement with Austrian wood-pellet boiler manufacturer OkoFEN to manufacture wood-pellet boilers in Maine for the United States market.

The deal is expected to move Maine Energy Systems beyond the early adopter phase and positon it as the country’s largest manufacturer of wood-pellet boilers. The company says it expects to create 50 manufacturing jobs in Oxford County, as well as 50 new jobs related to installation and fuel delivery.

The company has been in a test phase for the last six months and recently increased production ahead of the fall heating season. Under the terms of the agreement with OkoFEN, Maine Energy Systems will assemble a combination of sub-manufactured parts and parts manufactured in Bethel.

OkoFEN produced the first European pellet boiler in 1997. It has since installed 40,000 units throughout western Europe. Maine Energy Systems, under license from OkoFEN, markets the MESys AutoPellet System in the United States and Canada.

The manufacturing agreement builds on Maine Energy Systems’ efforts, which began in 2008, to create a new industry for the Northeast by introducing fully-automatic wood pellet boiler systems and bulk pellet distribution in the U.S. The company says its goal is to shift homes and businesses away from oil heat and into renewable wood pellets.

MESys has trained over 400 regional heating contractors to install and service wood pellet boiler systems.  These contractors have installed hundreds of fully-automatic wood pellet boiler systems in municipal and institutional buildings and residential homes throughout the Northeast.