- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (AP) - Great Northern Paper in the Maine town of East Millinocket says it’s shutting down production temporarily because of low prices for paper while it’s paying high costs for wood, pulp and energy.

Spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said the four-month shutdown began at the end of a shift Thursday afternoon. He said the company will be looking for ways to lower costs.

The company has more than 200 workers, all of whom will be retained for two months of the shutdown.

Tranchemontagne said Great Northern will focus on reducing production costs and making critical investments in hopes of restarting the two paper machines and making the operation viable over the long term. He said the company is abandoning its efforts to switch to natural gas, saying prices are too unstable.

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