Large equipment shipment rescheduled for Nov. 15

By Ethan Andrews | Nov 10, 2017

Searsport — Shipment of a massive boiler from the Sprague Terminal in Searsport to the site of a new biomass plant in Searsmont has been rescheduled for Nov. 15, pending good weather.

The boiler traveled by rail from Texas and has been waiting at Mack Point to make the final leg of the trip to a site on the Robbins Lumber property in Searsmont. That trip was postponed in the wake of the Oct. 30 storm that knocked out power in much of the county.

Robbins Lumber co-owner Catherine Robbins-Halstead said the plan remains unchanged. A truck bearing the 21-foot-tall boiler will leave the Sprague Terminal at 9 a.m. and travel along an inland route through Swanville, Waldo, Morrill and Belmont.

The move is expected to take six hours and will require temporary closure of several roads, in this order: Mt. Ephraim, Old County, Back Searsport, Swan Lake Avenue and Town House roads, as well as Route 131.

Robbins-Halstead said Maine Department of Transportation has several stopping sites picked out along the route in case the move cannot be completed in one day.

The boiler is to be the centerpiece of an 8.5-megawatt biomass plant being built by Cianbro adjacent to the Robbins Lumber sawmill in Searsmont. The plant will burn bark, wood chips and sawdust to drive a steam turbine and generate electricity. Waste heat from the plant will be used to dry lumber and heat buildings at the sawmill.

Construction started last year and the plant is projected to be operating by the middle of 2018.

"We're anxious to get it so we can close the building up," Robbins-Halstead said.

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Stephanie Grinnell
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Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.

Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.

Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.

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