Governor LePage Highlights New Jobs and Investment at Jotul

September 29, 2014

For Immediate Release: Monday, Sept. 29
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage visited Jotul’s plant in Gorham this afternoon to welcome jobs back to Maine.

Jotul is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-efficient cast iron wood and gas stoves, and has been a fixture in Maine since the 1970s. The addition of wood stove assembly will double production at the company’s Gorham facility and will create about eight jobs. Jotul currently employs 75 people in Maine.

“It is a testament to our Maine workers that this international company is moving the manufacturing of all of its North America-sold Jotul wood and gas stoves, inserts and fireplaces to Gorham,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Jotul has taken advantage of several of the business-friendly programs our departments offer, including the WorkShare program and our safety programs. These programs have helped Jotul keep its competitive edge and benefited our workers.”

“Additionally, I have been proud to advocate in support of businesses like Jotul regarding the EPA’s far-reaching proposed wood heater rule,” the Governor added. “I believe that heating with wood is good for Maine’s economy both because of the savings it can provide in energy costs and in the jobs it creates here at Jotul and in our forest products sector.”

“We are honored to employ so many highly skilled, hard-working people,” stated Bret Watson, president of Jotul North America. “Our workforce will grow over the next six months as we double our capacity. It is an exciting position to be in and a challenge my entire team and I are ready to face.”

Watson added, “We’re aware many job applicants look out of state since manufacturing jobs aren’t prevalent. We’re pleased to offer good positions to keep more Mainers here.”

The Norwegian trade union and Ratos AB, private equity owners from Stockholm, Sweden, approved the transfer of wood stove production to Jotul’s North American headquarters. These moves will be phased in over the next several months in order to absorb nine different wood burning models currently built in Norway. These developments will double the current production of the Gorham facility.

Jotul North America currently imports approximately 9,000 wood stoves from their parent company in Fredrikstad, Norway to be sold throughout North America. Jotul AS will continue to produce the cast iron parts and flat pack them to Jotul NA where they will be assembled.

Jotul North America sells approximately 17,000 wood and gas stoves, inserts, and fireplaces throughout North America annually. It is considered the dominant cast iron player in the North America hearth products market.