The Port of Eastport is close to finalizing a deal with a new Maine company looking to ship wood chips from the port to overseas markets. The tentative agreement between the Eastport Port Authority and Timber Biofuel Venture still needs final approval from the port authority board, which is scheduled to meet March 20.
If its contract is approved, Timber Biofuel Venture could begin trucking wood chips to the port as early as April 1, and a first overseas shipment could happen as early as eight weeks later, according to the Quoddy Tides. Larry Carrier, a partner in Timber Biofuel Venture, said he and the other partners have years of experience in the wood products industry. The company could ship as much as 200,000 tons of wood chips a year to European customers looking to use them for biomass fuel. He said the company is negotiating with nine potential customers.
The agreement includes leasing the port's bulk storage yard to the company for a set price, as well as additional payment to the port authority for tons of wood chips shipped. The current agreement does not include a specific amount of wood chips Timber Biofuel must ship, and the length of the contract will be made public if the board approves it. The port recently added a new bulk conveyor system to handle loads like wood chips.