Verso Corp. announced Thursday that it has sold four hydroelectric generators, part of the company’s Androscoggin Mill in Jay, to a New Jersey-based hydroelectric developer for $62 million in cash.
The announcement was made in a press release Thursday on the company’s website.
The generators are owned by Verso Androscoggin Power LLC, a subsidiary of Verso Corp., and are associated with the pulp and paper mill in Jay, the release said.
The sale to Eagle Creek Renewable Energy LLC is part of the company’s “efforts to raise funds to address its previously disclosed cash flow and liquidity concerns,” it said.
In August Verso announced it would be laying off 300 people, about one-third of its workforce, in Jay, as well as an additional 310 people at another mill in Kentucky. Bill Cohen, Verso’s manager of communications and public affairs in Maine, said Thursday that most of the 300 layoffs at the mill have taken effect, although there a few workers remaining who will have their last days at the mill in the first quarter of 2016.
In announcing the layoffs the company cited a decline in demand for coated paper; an increase in foreign paper imports; and high operating costs in Maine, including energy costs and local property taxes, as reasons for reducing production and cutting jobs at the Jay mill.
The sale of the generators is not expected to have any affect operations at the Androscoggin Mill, the release said.
The mill bought electricity from Verso Androscoggin Power, or VAP, before the sale and will continue to do so under Eagle Creek’s ownership. Cohen said the price of electricity from the generators will not change.
In addition, the mill also generates some of its own energy through two recovery boilers, a biomass boiler, three steam turbines and three gas turbines, and also purchases electricity from Central Maine Power Company, the release said.