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Updated: June 4, 2024

Portland freezer warehouse nears end of construction, to open soon for business

Portland's cold-storage facility under construction, as seen from a bridge. Photo / Renee Cordes In Portland, construction of a $55 million cold-storage facility is slated for completion by the end of 2024.

Despite supply-chain hurdles, construction of a $55 million cold-storage warehouse in Portland is nearing an end-of-the year finish line.

The temperature-controlled facility on the city's waterfront is due to become operational by early 2025, ready to handle cargo from food and agricultural products to biopharmaceuticals needing refrigeration. 

Tom O'Shaughnessy, New York-based head of co-developer Amber Infrastructure North America, is looking forward to opening the doors.

"We, like many, have had delays off the back of COVID with the supply chain and it has taken us longer to do this than we would have liked," he said in a Monday phone interview.

In addition to the U.K.-based company, the development consortium includes Yarmouth-based Treadwell Franklin Infrastructure and Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping and logistics company that has been operating at the adjacent International Marine Terminal for more than a decade.

The freezer warehouse broke ground in August 2022, more than four years after Atlanta-based Americold abruptly pulled out of a previous plan, prompting the Maine Department of Transportation to work with Eimskip to assemble a new consortium.

Despite the delay, the $55 million price has not changed because it was laid out in a fixed contract, according to O'Shaughnessy.

He also noted that compared to Amber's other projects in the U.S. and globally with building timelines of 10 to 15 years, the Portland project feels relatively quick.

"We can't wait to get this facility up and operational," he added.

'State-of-the-art facility'

The 107,000-square-foot warehouse will have 85,000 square feet of storage space.

"We've got a state-of-the-art facility," Matthew Burns, executive director of the Maine Port Authority, told Mainebiz in a separate interview on Monday. "We've just got to fill it."

He also noted that his team has to consider how the warehouse operations will fit in with those of the container terminal next door, saying that the two facilities "have to play nice together."

"We have no second thoughts about how that's going to work," he added. "We just have to plan accordingly."

The cold-storage warehouse will be operated by Taylor Logistics Inc., a Cincinnati-based company selected last year following a competitive process.

"We're looking forward now to having Taylor Logistics start reaching out to customers and start responding to requests to utilize the space," O'Shaughnessy said. 

He also suggests that any businesses interested in using the facility to get in touch with the consortium via the project website.

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