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The dispute in Southern Portland over a recommended propane terminal comes at the same time when propane usage is increasing in Maine and changes in the market are making the offer sequence more susceptible during extreme winter months.

Unless even more storage ability is established, consumers could spend more for propane and face better dangers of shortages, state industry frontrunners and condition officials. Such a conference occurred two winters ago, prompting Gov. Paul LePage to issue an emergency proclamation permitting heating gas distribution trucks to focus additional hours to distribute restricted materials so customers will never freeze.

“We tend to be several big snowstorms far from becoming in trouble, ” stated Lisa Smith, a senior planner with all the Governor’s Energy Office.

Since 2010, the sheer number of Maine homes utilizing propane temperature has actually increase from 6.5 per cent to 9 %, said Patrick Woodcock, the office’s director. At exactly the same time, the origin of that propane and also the means of shipping it have changed.

The problem is coming to the fore because a proposal to locate an innovative new propane terminal in Rigby backyard in Southern Portland is meeting regional resistance. The train garden could be the new home preferred by NGL provide Terminal Co., which must leave its current area near Portland’s International aquatic Terminal to allow for an expansion of this facility. Residents of South Portland have actually challenged NGL’s move, increasing security and zoning concerns.

But industry observers stress that a getting rejected of the task would shrink the state’s propane storage space capacity at the same time when there’s already a shortage. A recently is attempting to increase its storage capability right beside railway lines throughout brand new England to catch up to changes in the propane marketplace.

Before 2010, 60 percent of Maine’s propane ended up being brought in into brand new The united kingdomt via ship, primarily from Algeria. More than half of southern Maine’s propane came by ship to Newington, brand new Hampshire, that has a 23 million-gallon tank farm.

Those imports have actually largely stopped because domestic propane is less expensive, Woodcock said. Propane is a byproduct of natural gas handling, which includes seen a giant boost because of the U.S. shale growth.

These days, 80 % to 90 % for the propane supply comes from domestic resources. The propane concerns Maine by railway since the nearest pipeline is in Albany, ny – past an acceptable limit away to make trucking the gas financially viable, said Joe Rose, president associated with the Propane gasoline Association of New The united kingdomt.

Although going propane by rail is cheaper than by vehicle, railway is more susceptible to delays during bad the winter season. Rose stated the needs the maximum amount of storage as you possibly can, plus it makes financial feeling that a depot be positioned in Maine’s biggest train garden so trains can weight the propane into tanks. He said the propane brought by train into Maine – destined for because far north as south Aroostook County and also as far south as coastal brand new Hampshire – goes through Rigby backyard in South Portland.

As many as 100 train automobiles packed with liquid propane go through Rigby backyard every day. Truth be told there, the trains tend to be unhitched and tank automobiles tend to be hitched to other trains and hauled to many other areas of hawaii or brand new Hampshire. Some container automobiles at Rigby backyard unload their particular cargo straight into distribution vehicles run by AmeriGas.



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