In a reversal of plans, Great Northern Paper says it now plans to temporarily lay off 212 workers at its East Millinocket mill.
Today's announcement comes a month after the company said it was shutting down production at the facility for 16 weeks while it crafted a plan to lower production costs.
At that time, GNP spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said workers at the plant would be retained for at least two months to help with help with efforts to use energy and water more efficiently at the mill.
But Tranchemontagne now says the company has been forced to change those plans.
"This is a different course than expected when we began to restructure, but it is a necessary step," he says in a statement. "We continue to work diligently on addressing fundamental operational issues that must be overcome for GNP to restart and remain viable over the long term."
He says 44 employees will remain on the job to work on "cost reduction initiatives" and keep systems running "to allow for a production restart."