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New cold storage facility coming to Portland waterfront

Seven people wearing hardhats and suits hold golden shovels behind a pile of sand.
Ari Snider
/
Maine Public
Gov. Janet Mills (center) participates in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Maine International Cold Storage Facility on the Portland waterfront. The facility is scheduled to open in early 2024.

Maine businesses will soon have a new option for shipping perishable goods out of state.

State and local officials on Monday broke ground on a 107,000-square-foot cold storage facility on the Portland waterfront.

Portland mayor Kate Snyder said it will be a boon for Maine's food and beverage industry, and for commercial fishing.

"With this new facility, food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers will no longer need to rely on out-of-state providers to ship food products originating in Maine," she said.

Gov. Janet Mills echoed that sentiment, hailing the project as an investment in Maine’s food economy by reducing the state’s reliance on out-of-state facilities.

"This new 22,000-pallet facility will allow that cold storage to happen right here, ensuring that Maine businesses are able to keep food production, storage and distribution local," Mills said.

Mills also highlighted the environmentally conscious design, which includes a rooftop solar array expected to offset about 20% of the building’s energy usage.

The facility could have a statewide economic impact of more than $500 million per year, according to a 2017 study by the University of Southern Maine.

Construction will cost about $55 million, and the facility is expected to begin operations in early 2024.