Given the growth in northeast gas production, Maine offers an ideal location for an LNG export project. Beyond its proximity to gas reserves (1,100 miles closer than gulf coast LNG projects), the community has experience with the paper and pulp industry and a low population density. The site offers deep water access, excellent geology, and close proximity to the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline.
With Portland in the southern part of Maine serving as one of the busiest oil ports on the eastern seaboard and active cargo ports further up the coast in Searsport and Eastport, the Downeast LNG project looks to take its place in Maine’s ongoing maritime tradition.
Washington County is the easternmost county in the United States and the first place in the country to greet the sun each morning. It has an extensive coastline that runs along the open Atlantic Ocean into Passamaquoddy Bay and up the St. Croix River. In addition to the coast, it has 133,000 acres of lakes and ponds and 1.47 million acres of forests covering 85% of its land.
Washington County is known for its natural, unspoiled beauty, small towns, and hardworking, independent people. It is a favored destination for outdoor enthusiasts and visitors looking to explore beyond the better known and more crowded Maine destinations to the south.
Unfortunately, Washington County also is known as one the most remote and economically challenged areas of Maine. While 90% of the nation’s wild blueberry crop comes from Washington County, the region lacks a diverse economic base and desperately needs well-paying, sustainable jobs.
Like the rest of the communities along Maine’s 3,400-mile coastline, Washington County has a rich history of fishing, boat building and shipping. The city of Eastport, the closest U.S. port to Europe, has an active, deepwater cargo port and is actively working to attract cruise ships and recreational boaters.
Every year, nearly 100 large ships bound for Eastport or the New Brunswick Port of Bayside make their way through Passamaquoddy Bay waters shared by the U.S. and Canada.
Town of Robbinston
The Town of Robbinston, the location of the Downeast LNG project, is a community of just over 500 people located south of Calais. Since 2005, Downeast LNG has worked closely with the people of Robbinston and their elected leaders to create a partnership based on trust and mutual benefit.
Robbinston residents expressed their support for Downeast LNG in a 223 to 83 vote in early 2006, and the company and the town have successfully negotiated a detailed agreement that spells out each others’ responsibilities and how the town will benefit from the project.
Downeast LNG maintains an office and full-time staff in Robbinston and has been an active member of the community.