GAC Chemical Corp. of Searsport is one of eight Maine companies to win a 2014 Governor's Award for Business Excellence.

The 24th annual awards, administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and sponsored by FairPoint Communications, recognized Maine businesses that are successful in a variety of ways.

"These businesses represent the best of the best here in Maine," said Gov. Paul LePage in presenting the awards during a Sept. 19 reception at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.

"All eight of these companies are committed to quality workmanship, maintaining a loyal and dedicated workforce, and giving back to the communities they do business in. Their leadership and direction is solid and I am honored to recognize their efforts and I thank them for doing business here in Maine."

Celebrating 20 years of business in Maine, GAC Chemical Corp. and its 65 employees manufacture and distribute industrial, specialty, and fine chemicals. Its primary markets include pulp and paper, power plant, industrial manufacturing, potable municipal water and waste water.

GAC is the worldwide leader in the production of high purity ammonium sulfate used in such markets as pharmaceuticals, food and water treatment.

In 2013, GAC partnered with a manufacturer based in Mexico. This company's multimillion-dollar project at GAC marked the first foreign direct investment from Mexico into Maine and allowed GAC to become certified as a Pine Tree Zone business.

The seven other award-winning companies were Huhtamaki of Waterville, Priority Real Estate of Topsham, Haven's Candies of Westbrook, Fluid Imaging Technologies of Scarborough, and Kepware Technologies, Winxnet and Hall Internet Marketing, all of Portland.