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Finch planning $20-million modernization of paper mill

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

Finch Paper in Glens Falls is planning a $20-million modernization project, and is seeking $3.06-million in state economic development funding to help pay for it.

The Capital Region’s Economic Development Council in Albany announced the plan in a presentation on Sept. 16 to the state advisory panel that will decide how to allocate $750-million in a fourth round of grants.

Documents on the council’s website say the Finch Paper modernization is one of 30 “priority projects.”

The council’s “2014 Progress Report” says, “Finch Paper, LLC, has developed plans for a $20-million modernization project at its Glens Falls mill that will strengthen the mill’s competitive position and help sustain more than 600 existing jobs by reducing the company’s overall cost structure without negatively impacting employment.

“Having already committed to investing $4.7-million privately, the company is seeking New York State assistance for a portion of the remaining $15.3-million investment.

“Finch is seeking assistance with modernizing its facilities in the following three key areas:

“(1) wood processing operation,

“(2) pulp mill facility and

“(3) a No. 4 paper machine.

“The objective of investing in these three areas is to increase the efficiency of the company’s papermaking process, which will reduce its cost structure and enable Finch to remain a viable manufacturer in a shrinking industry.”

Contacted for comment, Finch spokesman John Brodt said, “Out of respect for the state’s ongoing evaluation process, Finch is not discussing details of its proposal publicly at this time.”

Finch Paper president and CEO Debabrata Mukherjee is a member of the Capital Region’s Economic Development Council.

Other local members are Bill Hart, controller at Irving Tissue in Fort Edward, Andrew Meader of Six Flags/Great Escape in Queensbury and Omar Usmani, executive partner of Aeon Nexus in Glens Falls.

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