Kusnierz: Hemp paper maker eyes Moreau & Saratoga County

By Maury Thompson, Chronicle Freelance

An “environmentally friendly” firm that would manufacture paper products from hemp is considering opening a mill in Moreau, or perhaps elsewhere in Saratoga County, Moreau Town Supervisor Todd Kusnierz told The Chronicle.

“We’re hopeful,” Mr. Kusnierz said in a telephone interview on Monday. “It’s really in the early stages at this point.”

He said the prospective firm originally was interested in taking over the Essity tissue mill at South Glens Falls that closed July 20.

But Mr. Kusnierz said that on a conference call last week with Essity, the company owner, and Saratoga Economic Development Corp. president J. Gregory Connors, Mr. Kusnierz says, “Right out of the gate it became clear that Essity had no interest in selling the mill with its equipment.”

Essity officials intend to sell off the equipment initially, and eventually sell the building and land, he said.

Mr. Kusnierz said the owner of the inquiring firm lives in Arizona and remains interested in opening a local mill. Mr. Kusnierz said he has recommended Moreau Industrial Park.

He would not identify the firm or owner. “He’s established in the industry and has worked in it for 30 years. They are a national company, and we want to respect that it would it would be premature to identify the company at this point.”

Mr. Kusnierz said the firm remains interested in Moreau, and Saratoga County in general, because of its close proximity to farms, the availability of experienced paper makers who formerly worked for Essity, and the company’s eagerness to expand into the northeast market.

SEDC’s Mr. Connors, contacted Tuesday, would not identify the company or confirm details of the discussions.

“I’m reluctant to talk about any particular company,” he said.

SEDC is working with Essity officials to explore several possible reuses for the South Glens Falls mill site.

“There’s some opportunities there,” Mr. Connors said.

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