A federal judge has called a hearing Tuesday to consider at least two offers made by paper manufacturing companies to buy Verso Paper Corp.’s Bucksport paper mill.

U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr., who is considering a case seeking to block Verso from selling the mill to a scrap metal recycler, called the hearing at 8 a.m. at U.S. District Court in Bangor to consider a letter dated Jan. 16 sent by Kejriwal Singapore International, a paper manufacturing company based in Mumbai, India, with operations in New York, which says it wants to buy and resume operations at the Bucksport mill and hire several hundred people.

Gov. Paul LePage and Rosaire Pelletier, senior forest products adviser for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, also filed letters with the judge to say they had been working with at least two companies that had interest in keeping the Bucksport mill operating as a paper manufacturer. They did not name the companies.

The letters were filed at U.S. District Court late Friday afternoon and made available on the court’s electronic document system early Sunday afternoon.

The Bucksport chapter of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents 59 hourly employees at the mill, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 15 trying to block the sale of the mill to AIM Development LLC, a subsidiary of American Iron and Metal, a Montreal scrap metal recycler. The union claims Verso’s sale of the mill to the metal recycler breaks antitrust laws and is an illegal attempt by the company to limit the supply of coated paper on the market.

But Herb Black, owner of American Iron and Metal, said in a telephone interview late Sunday that he is still willing to resell the paper mill to a legitimate buyer.

The 70-year-old Black, who has run AIM for more than 50 years, said he would expect to make a healthy profit on his investment of $60 million.

Black said he met recently over lunch with an official – Rahul Kejriwal – from Kejriwal, but the Indian company does not appear to have the funds to leverage a purchase.

“He is full of (expletive),” Black said of Kejriwal. “He never showed me a nickel. If you can find me a buyer who has money, I’d be happy to sell the mill to them.”

Black said he feels badly for the more than 500 Bucksport millworkers who have lost their jobs, but said there is no money to be made in the paper industry markets.

Black said his business plan calls for scrapping the mill. He said he is also considering reuse options for the property that could result in jobs for the region, but he declined to be more specific.

“There is no way that mill opens up again, at least in my opinion,” Black said.

Verso, which owns another mill in Jay, had been negotiating for a year to buy rival papermaker NewPage Holdings in a deal that raised federal antitrust concerns. Federal regulators approved the $1.4 billion deal on Dec. 31, with conditions.

Verso has maintained that the Bucksport mill has never been profitable for the company and that was the reason behind its closure and sale. But critics say Verso closed the mill in December to reduce its manufacturing capacity and allay federal regulators’ antitrust concerns in the NewPage deal. Verso officials said at a Jan. 13 hearing before Woodock that they had no other buyer.

“As long as there is pending litigation we would have no public comment,” Bill Cohen, a Verso spokesman, replied in an email Sunday night.

The letter from Kejriwal Singapore International, signed by Rahul Kejriwal, says the company is an international paper manufacturing and sales organization with more than $1 billion in sales of paper and paper-related products and more than 8,000 employees in 23 countries. Kejriwal wrote that when his company learned about the closing of the Bucksport mill, it made inquires and was told the mill had been sold.

“We have a plan to acquire and resume operations at Bucksport if we are able to acquire it, potentially hiring several hundred people and sourcing Maine forest products,” he wrote.

David Keene, Bucksport’s mayor, did not return phone calls or emails seeking a reaction Sunday night. The town manager could not be reached and a union official who works at the former mill’s power plant, which is still in operation, declined to comment.

In his letter to the judge, LePage said that more than one company has expressed genuine interest in buying the mill to continue paper manufacturing.

“One of the firms told us they made several attempts to contact Verso prior to the sale to American Iron and Metal Company, but never received a response from Verso,” he wrote.

Pelletier, who is the governor’s account executive on forest product matters, said he also worked with at least two serious potential buyers, one of which submitted a formal offer to Verso, but he was not free to reveal the identity of the buyer because of confidentiality agreements with the buyer.

John Carr, a spokesman for the union, said Verso officials told Woodcock at a hearing on Jan. 13 that AIM Development was the only potential buyer of the Bucksport mill.

Carr said he did not know much about Kejriwal Singapore International.

“Their letter just kind of came out of the blue,” Carr said.