MADISON — Gov. Janet Mills joined executives Thursday from Belfast-based GO Lab Inc. and others for a ceremony that officials said marked the return of wood products manufacturing to the former Madison Paper Industries mill.

Mills told the crowd inside the cavernous mill she has driven past the plant hundreds of times over the years and is pleased to see manufacturing returning to the facility.

“You’re transforming the site of this former mill to meet the challenges of our time, and in doing so, you’re forging a new and innovative path forward,” Mills said of GO Lab.

Mills said Maine products will again be made at the plant, products sourced from the Maine woods through the work of loggers and transported by Maine haulers and truckers.

“You’re expanding our forest products industry in exciting ways,” she said.

GO Lab announced last month it had secured $85 million in financing needed to begin construction of a manufacturing operation at the mill.

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Cianbro construction of Pittsfield is set to install three manufacturing lines that will produce three types of wood-fiber insulation that GO Lab refers to as TimberHP.

GO Lab officials expect to employ 120 workers at the mill, with more jobs expected by the end of this year, according to company officials.

The building products manufacturer bought the mill for $1.9 million in 2019. Madison Paper Industries shuttered its operations in May 2016.

Gov. Janet Mills listens Thursday as Madison Town Manager Tim Curtis speaks during a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for GO Lab Inc. at the former Madison Paper Industries mill Madison Mill. Michael G. Seamans

The complete cost of the GO Lab project is reportedly more than $110 million.

TimberHP is wood-fiber insulation meant for the residential and light commercial construction markets. The insulation has been produced in Europe for more than two decades and accounts for more than $700 million in annual sales across the European Union, according to GO Lab data.

Morning Sentinel staff writer Taylor Abbott contributed to this report.

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