Turning Maine’s forestry biomass into Europe’s electricity
Funding | $412K
hours needed to heat treat the wood chips
3 Million tons
EU’s annual demand for wood chips
The Port of Eastport is perfectly situated to connect Maine’s forestry industry with power facilities in Europe. The goal? To ship at least 300,000 tons of wood chips a year to fuel EU’s utilities.
The process starts by using both residuals left over from the lumber manufacturing process and also thinning unwanted wood from managed forests. After being cut into wood chips, they will be heat treated to diminish the transportation of pests. This phytosanitation station will be aboard a ship docked in Eastport harbor.
Eastport Port Authority, with funding from MTI and other investors, is preparing to do a test run of the complete system. The plan is to dock a ship in Eastport, use a specialized conveyor system to fill it with wood chips, heat treat the chips and send them out on the ship. Their aim is a turnaround time of less than 40 hours to help meet the EU’s demand for 3 million tons of wood chips a year.
The project takes advantage of Eastport’s unique location. Maine is heavily forested with forestland nearly touching the sea. Eastport is close to Europe and is the country’s deepest natural seaport on the continental United States. And the project helps to use unwanted timber in Maine’s forest while literally fueling the EU’s change away from fossil fuels.
It’s a true success story of Mainers working together for transformational change in the forestry industry. In addition to MTI support, the project has been backed by local, federal, bank, and private industries.