The Maine Port Authority (MPA) has received a $4.09 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) to improve the movement of freight at the International Marine Terminal (IMT), according to US Senator Susie Collins, the Chairwoman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.
In a statement, Senator Collins said: “The International Marine Terminal has experienced a significant increase in volume in recent years, and this $4.1 million investment will allow the terminal to make improvements to keep pace with its substantial growth.
In May, Senator Collins sent a letter in support of MPA’s Port Infrastructure Development Program grant application, titled “Linking Intermodal Needs and rural freight Knowledge (LINK),” for improvements at the International Marine Terminal (IMT).
“This major seaport is northern New England’s only container terminal and is utilized daily by businesses and customers across our state, including L.L. Bean, Sappi, Aroostook potato growers, and Washington County blueberry growers.
“The LINK project will create additional jobs, increase the export of Maine manufacturers’ products, and support rural economies across the state. As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to push for funding to address our state’s transportation needs.
“The International Marine Terminal has experienced a significant increase in volume in recent years, and this $4.1 million investment will allow the terminal to make improvements to keep pace with its substantial growth.
Jon Nass, CEO, Maine Port Authority said: “The LINK project will be the latest investment into the successful redevelopment of Portland’s working waterfront.
“This grant, along with others that Senator Collins has assisted the MPA in securing, will help two Maine terminals continue to grow, create jobs, and provide critical logistical infrastructure to help grow Maine’s economy.
“Senator Collins drafted legislation especially designed to help small ports and terminals, like those in Maine compete for these grants. We are thrilled to learn of the success of this latest endeavor.”
The LINK project will provide additional public and private logistical assets at Merrill’s Marine Terminal (MMT) with warehousing, breakbulk and drybulk–to-container loading capacity. Specifically, the project will oversee the construction of existing railroad tracks, renovate a vacant warehouse and consolidate cross-docking activities.
Since attracting Eimskip, the IMT has seen container volume grow by 20 to 30% year-on-year (YoY). Even during the pandemic and economic crisis, this year’s total volume is projected to match the previous calendar year.
As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins was able to provide $225 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program in the fiscal year 2020 Appropriations bill. She also secured a provision requiring MARAD to prioritize funding for small ports and allowing small ports to receive up to an 80 percent Federal cost share.