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ATHENS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A $30 million dollar biomass plant proposed for Athens is approved to get $12 million dollars in state tax credits - a step forward for a project that could mean saving or creating about 200 jobs and boosting the local tax base.

Athens Energy, an affiliate of Maine Wood Pellets Company, received certification for Maine New Markets tax credits from the Finance Authority of Maine at last week's board meeting.

This investment will be in the form of loans to Athens Energy to be used for construction and equipment needed to make a biomass plant that will generate electricity. The company lawyer said the new power plant will burn low-quality waste wood to create power.

Mill worker Al Boyer said there are about 35 jobs at this plant and he is happy to know more people will be able to get back to work.

"And not have to worry about paying your bills and having a little bit of extra to do something once and awhile. You know when you work all the time you ain't got no money after you get done working. It's pretty discouraging; maybe these 200 jobs are gonna help this economy around this area a lot."

The tax credits will not be given until the actual investments are made.

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