On Jun 18, 2015, the Maine Port Authority (MPA) issued a request for qualifications from developers to design, build, and operate a cold-storage facility at the International Marine Terminal (IMT) on the Portland waterfront. 

Completion of the IMT West Cold Storage Project is essential to improve the global competitiveness of Maine businesses. As stated in the Port Authority’s request to developers, having “state-of-the-art cold storage capacity that is directly adjacent to fully functional intermodal logistics assets is key to growing the [food and beverage] industry sectors here in Maine and supporting existing demand for cold storage that is presently being provided out of state.” The Port Authority indicates that most of the food products that originate in Maine are currently being shipped to cold storage facilities in Massachusetts and Canada. 

After recent investments by the MaineDOT and the Port Authority, cold-storage capacity at the international terminal is limited to 150 plugs (power sources) for refrigerated containers. The only public temperature-controlled warehousing in Portland is a 150,000 square foot off-site facility operated by Americold Logistics, LLC. A multi-year work plan released by the MaineDOT on Jan 1, 2015 indicates that $11 million will be allocated for multimodal port and marine infrastructure investments, including $4 million for Phase II improvements at the international terminal in Portland.

Successful respondents to the qualification process will be invited to bid on the project, with final results anticipated by August 31, 2015.