Forest Products

Forest Products

Maine’s economic future, like the past, is inextricably linked to our sustainably managed forests.

The forest products industry in Maine is undergoing an exciting re-invention, bridging the old and the new. While pulp and paper manufacturing remain the top contributor to Maine’s forest economy, more mills are shifting production into tissue, label, and packaging grades of paper. Sawmill timber continues to be an important facet of Maine’s forest economy alongside emerging sectors and products including  cross-laminated timber (CLT), insulated wood fiber, biofuels, mass timber, biochar, and biomass combined heat & power.

Maine has 89% forest coverage, the highest in the United States

$5.7 billion and over 13,000 jobs contributed to Maine's economy

Over $500 million in foreign exports of forest products annually

Forest Products

Maine research institutions and manufacturers are responsible for groundbreaking work in biofuels, biomaterials, and nanocellulose. Value creation is the key concept – turning sawdust into jet fuel or wood pulp to repair or replace human bones – using residuals to create innovative materials and products offers a future filled with new opportunities in this vital sector.

Maine Wins Designation as a Federal Tech Hub for Forest Bioproducts

Maine has won designation as a federal Tech Hub for the development of forest bioproducts and is in the running to receive up to $70 million to help advance the industry. The Forest Bioproducts Advanced Manufacturing Tech Hub will accelerate R&D of natural polymers and other wood fiber bioproducts that can sequester carbon and replace plastics and toxic chemicals.

TimberHP Financing Approved for Madison Mill

TimberHP, a division of Belfast-based GO Lab Inc., uses renewable resources to produce wood fiber insulation products. Recently approved financing is expected to help create and retain more than 100 jobs in Somerset County by allowing the manufacturer to buy equipment needed to produce its full product line. The manufacturer is seen by many officials as an example of how to revitalize former mill towns.

Sustainable Packaging Manufacturer Gears Up for Growth

Tanbark Molded Fiber Products, which started manufacturing operations in Saco in July, is a rapidly growing designer and maker of high-end sustainable packaging made from Maine pulp and paper. The company aims to offer a compostable alternative to single-use plastic starting with clients in the food and beverage industry. Clients include Luke’s Lobster and grocery retailer Hannaford.

New Act for Maine Forest Products

Forest products have driven Maine’s economy for centuries. Mills continue to be a backbone for Maine’s rural economy, but markets for wood products are changing with a decline in the pulpwood and paper industry. New markets could include biochar, mass timber, packaging and biobased manufacturing.

Focused on the Future of Maine’s Forest Products Industry

Forest Opportunity Roadmap/Maine (FOR/Maine) is a unique cross-sector collaboration between industry, communities, government, education, and non-profits to maintain our leading role in the global forest economy and support prosperity in our state. 

Welcome to Nanocellulose Valley

Nanocellulose Valley

Home to sustainably managed forests, skilled workers, and research expertise at the University of Maine, the state is a natural hub for forest-based innovations and the development of cutting-edge new products. Nanocellulose, nature’s super polymer, is helping to build the forest products of the future.

Industry Support

Trade association working to expand biobased product manufacturing in Maine through applied research, technical assistance, and information sharing that supports new product development, process engineering, and market assessment

Cross-sector collaboration between industry, communities, government, education, and nonprofits, which have come together to ensure that Maine strategically adapts and capitalizes on changing markets to maintain our leading role in the global forest economy and support prosperity in our state

Provide a supportive economic and public policy climate for the forest products community and promote a healthier, more vital forestry sector

Offers grants, loans, equity investments, and services to support Maine’s innovation economy

Unique, open-access research experience where scientists, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders work collaboratively to develop new pulp- and paper-based products and manufacturing processes

In Good Company

International Investors

We’d love to hear from you to discuss your interest in this sector and Maine’s advantages.

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