Maine company to build fuels plant in state; use Maritime natural gas

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. - A Maine natural gas firm plans to build a liquid methane fuels plant in the state that would draw from the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline and sell converted fuels to major customers.
Maine Liquid Methane Fuels LLC is proposing a $50-million plant in Brewer, Maine, that would produce heating and motor fuels with reduced carbon dioxide, sulphur and other heavy hydrocarbons, said vice-president Sasa Cook.
The company plans to transport the fuels by truck to customers that would include pulp and paper mills, ski mountains, municipalities and gas retailers, among others.
"We have talked to one of the largest petroleum distributors on a retail level about possibly putting in dispensing terminals at their facilities," Cook said, adding the firm has introduced the project to Irving Oil Ltd.
The company received site approval from Brewer this week to open the plant in a proposed new industrial park. Pending environmental approvals, the firm expects to break ground in June with plans to start production in the fall of 2011.
Maine Liquid Methane Fuels would extract from the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline. Company officials have contacted potential natural gas suppliers in Canada, although they have not yet approached Canaport LNG in Saint John, N.B., Cook said.
As the company looks to convince potential customers to change their fuel sources, Cook said he's confident it will offer a discounted rate, even with the additional conversion and transport costs.
Cook is pitching the plant as an economic development tool that could reduce costs for major employers and sustain jobs over the long term.
"If we can help reduce the costs for pulp and paper mills, and other manufacturers, and make them a little more competitive, that will retain jobs," he said.

Organizations: Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, Maine Liquid Methane Fuels, Irving Oil

Geographic location: Brewer, Maine, Maritime, SAINT JOHN Canada

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