Willis Blevins

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Switching to natural gas at the Gorham Paper and Tissue mill cost about $5.4 million but paid for itself in about four months, says Willis Blevins, the general manager of the plant.

Last year the company made the change from heating oil.

The goal was to reduce the enormous energy cost that Blevins says was always a problem when it came to making the plant consistently profitable.

The new owner, Patriarch Partners, was willing to make the investment the previous owner was not.