MADISON — Officials from Summit Natural Gas of Maine said Wednesday that they have reached an agreement to supply gas to Madison Paper Industries by fall.

Madison Paper Industries is the town’s largest property-tax payer and also employs about 225 people. President Russ Drechsel said Wednesday the company has been working with Summit on a plan to use natural gas since earlier this year.

“We look forward to burning natural gas in the mill’s power boilers that supply steam for the papermaking process,” he said.

Summit announced earlier in the month that they would be starting construction of a $350 million natural gas pipeline in the Kennebec Valley beginning at the intersection of Route 43 and River Road. The firm plans to build a distribution system that will stretch along the Kennebec River from Richmond to Madison. The distribution line will also provide service to Waterville as well as the city’s Huhtamaki manufacturing plant and Sappi Fine Paper in Skowhegan.

The Colorado-owned company joins competitor Maine Natural Gas, which started building pipeline in the area last year, in a race to bring natural gas to residential, municipal and commercial users in the area.

“The commitment from UPM Madison is another significant milestone for Summit and its commitment to build out a natural gas pipeline infrastructure to provide natural gas service in the Kennebec Valley. We are proud to partner with UPM Madison and we look forward to the completion of facilities,” said Mike Minkos, president of Summit Natural Gas of Maine.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

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