January 30, 2013

Dead River to offer natural gas option to central Maine businesses

STAFF REPORT

Dead River Co., the largest retailer of home heating products in northern New England, is teaming up with Xpress Natural Gas to offer compressed natural gas to businesses in central, northern and eastern Maine, the companies announced in a news release.

Compressed Natural Gas is reduced in volume for storage and transport and then released at normal pressure to the customer. Dead River will sell the gas to commercial and institutional customers who typically use at least 75,000 gallons of heating oil annually.

In a statement, Bob Moore, president of Dead River Co., said most people in Maine will "never see a natural gas pipeline" because it's too expensive.

Earlier this month, Summit Natural Gas of Maine won approval to build a pipeline that will serve 17 central Maine communities. A different company, Maine Natural Gas, already has begun laying pipe in Augusta to serve areas such as Augusta, Fairfield, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Madison, Richmond, Skowhegan, Waterville and Winslow.

Moore said he expects Dead River will give local companies immediate relief from high heating costs by offering an alternative that is 25 percent cheaper than oil.

"Our partnership with Xpress Natural Gas presents an immediate solution to Maine companies with high energy use who are looking for alternatives to lower their costs," he said in the statement. "We can deliver the cost savings to make them more competitive."

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