IP: No comment on bidders for plant

Published 10:05 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

FRANKLIN—Officials with International Paper Co. have declined to identify the companies or consortiums that are in negotiations to purchase facilities at the Franklin mill for possible reuse.

“We can neither confirm nor deny based on the non-disclosure agreement in place with all potential proposals,” Franklin Mill Communications Manager Desmond Stills said in a written statement on Friday.

On Wednesday, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said a consortium he is involved with is one of the final bidders for some or all of the mill facilities. The consortium, believed to include the Leaf Green Energy Co., is reportedly interested in setting up a biomass energy power plant on the mill site.

Local economic development officials have said they believe three or four groups could be final bidders for the mill facilities, and that their proposals for reuse could collectively create 400 to 500 jobs.

IP has not disclosed how many unsolicited proposals were received before a Feb. 26 deadline. Local officials have said that as many as 15 renewable energy companies have negotiated with the paper maker, which has given tours of the mill to many of them.