Dixfield, ME — U.S. Senator Susan Collins visited Irving Forest Products in Dixfield this morning to tour the sawmill, speak with employees, and celebrate a $26.5 million investment in a state-of-the-art planer mill. The planer is one of the first of its type in the world and will allow Irving to use scanning technology to capture more value in the logs.
“With this nearly $27 million investment in Dixfield, the world’s largest Eastern White Pine mill secures its place as the industry leader. Their efforts to complete this investment, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, are remarkable,” said Senator Collins. “In a place filled with mighty machines, the hardworking men and women in Dixfield are the engine that drives the economy of Western Maine.”
“We are pleased to celebrate the opening of this world class planer facility. Our team - despite the challenges associated with the pandemic - have kept one another safe and completed this important investment. Together, we are working to ensure we are North America’s leading white pine mill right here in Maine. It was nice to have Senator Susan Collins, State Senator Lisa Keim and State Representative Pickett tour the facility and attend the celebration with us on this beautiful September day!” said Susan Coulombe, General Manager of White Pine and Hardwood for Irving Forest Products.
Acquired in 1998 by J.D. Irving, Limited, the Dixfield sawmill is the largest producer of Eastern White Pine boards for interior and exterior finish applications. The sawmill serves as a market for 240 loggers throughout the area and provides wood chips to ND Paper in Rumford. J.D. Irving in Dixfield generates 20 percent of their own power, which has lowered emissions at the mill.
Senator Collins, along with Representative Jared Golden (D-ME), led a bicameral, bipartisan group in introducing the Loggers Relief Act earlier this year. This legislation would authorize USDA to provide direct support to loggers and log haulers who experienced at least a 10 percent loss in the first seven months of 2020 (as compared to 2019).