Bucksport industrial park expansion nets two seafood processors

Town Council OKs free lots for Greenhead Lobster, Pemaquid Mussel Farm
By Ethan Andrews | Feb 09, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews Hugh Reynolds, left, owner of Greenhead Lobster, talks with Pemaquid Mussel Farm founder Carter Newell after the Feb. 8 Bucksport Town Council meeting at which both companies were granted lots in the industrial park for new seafood processing facilities.

Bucksport — Two coastal seafood companies have been approved to open processing facilities in Buckstown Heritage Park, making first use of a new addition to the industrial park on Route 46.

The Town Council on Feb. 8 approved requests from Greenhead Lobsters and Pemaquid Mussel Farm for lots in the park, which are offered by the town free of charge to businesses that meet certain criteria, among them jobs.

Both lots are situated toward the far end of Heritage Park Road in what is known as Phase 2 of the industrial park, which has a total of eight parcels of 2 acres to 3.3 acres each. The lots granted to the two seafood processors are the first in Phase 2 to be claimed.

Greenhead Lobster has proposed constructing a 160-by-60-foot building on a 2.72-acre lot.

Hugh Reynolds, owner of the Stonington-based company, said the building would be used for processing lobster and crab, extracting meat from claws and freezing tails. He projected the facility would employ 30 to 45 workers by the end of 2019.

A major draw of the industrial park, he said, was the municipal water supply.

"Believe it or not, that's a scarce commodity on the coast of Maine," he said.

Reynolds said the new facility might use up to 12,000 gallons of water per day for cleaning and hygiene during certain peak processing runs. Asked about waste, Reynolds said he hoped to sell the compacted shells for compost.

Pemaquid Mussel Farm is planning to construct a two-story, 40-by-40-foot building with processing and cold storage areas on a 3.3-acre lot in the industrial park.

The facility would employ six full-time and two or three part-time workers by the end of 2019, bagging mussels harvested from a farm of submersible floats in Lemoine.

Carter Newell, founder of the Damariscotta-based company, said the mussels would be distributed from the Bucksport operation to various locations as far south as Boston.

Newell said he was attracted to Bucksport because of its central location on the coast and the potential of a local workforce in the wake of the Verso Paper mill closure in 2014.

Additionally, he said, the industrial park has the appeal of three-phase power, water and sewer, and an established cold storage business in another part of the park with which he hoped to collaborate.

Newell said there would be very little waste at the site because the mussels would be processed at sea before they came to the Bucksport facility.

Based on estimated values of the land and projected tax revenue from each development, Bucksport would break even on both within the decade — Greenhead Lobster in just over two years, and Pemaquid Mussel Farm in a little less than nine.

Newell and Reynolds both indicated they hadn't been aware of the other's plans to locate in the Bucksport industrial park. By the end of the council meeting, they were talking about collaborating.

"That was just serendipity," Newell said.

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