A pavement production plant in Hermon will build a $16.5 million addition this year that will include three new tanks to store liquid asphalt and a rail line extension to make it easier to deliver the material to the Odlin Road facility.
The Northeast Paving plant’s expansion calls for three 10,000-ton tanks to store liquid asphalt and a 250-ton tank for polymer, another paving component. The project also includes the extension of a rail line to the plant from the Canadian Pacific Railway’s current location near Logistics Lane.
The added storage capacity will allow the Hermon plant to supply liquid asphalt to the five other Northeast Paving plants located throughout Maine. The rail line extension will make it cheaper to deliver the liquid asphalt to the plant from Searsport, where the petroleum product comes in by ship, or Canada.
Trucks still will need to take liquid asphalt from the Hermon plant to its other paving plants in Maine.
The new storage tanks represent the latest in a series of large-scale business expansions Hermon has seen in recent years. Hermon has also seen some of the Bangor region’s steadiest population growth in recent decades.
Scott Perkins, Hermon’s economic development director, called the pavement plant expansion “one of the largest industrial projects in central/eastern Maine that any community has landed recently.”
The existing Hermon plant includes a quarry and much smaller storage tanks in which paving can be held, once produced. It has operated from that location since 1991.
Northeast Paving’s parent company, Eurovia USA, expects construction will be underway by June and completed by the end of the year, according to Garrett Simmons, the company’s group communications manager.
Eurovia expects the expansion will add between 10 and 15 full-time jobs at the Hermon plant, Simmons said. The company employs between 400 and 500 people in Maine, but expects more road construction jobs will be available as the expansion makes more paving materials available in Maine, allowing Eurovia to take on more paving jobs.
“Having liquid asphalt on hand is definitely going to streamline the process and allow us to take on more work,” Simmons said. “This will be a more direct line of distribution and eliminate the need for so many trucks to go in and out of the plant.”
The firm’s clients in Maine include the Maine Department of Transportation, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Turnpike Authority.
The plant’s long-standing relationship with Hermon was one of the reasons it was chosen over other possible sites, Simmons said.
“They are thorough and fair in their processes,” he said. “We also trust the relationship we have built up over the years with town officials.”
Town officials had been talking to Eurovia about a possible expansion at the Hermon site since the fall of 2019, Perkins said.
The property tax benefit to the town would be minimal, but the expansion is an example to other industries that Hermon is business-friendly and a central location for companies that operate statewide, Perkins said.
Eurovia, based in Rueil-Malmaison, France, acquired the Hermon plant and five others in Maine in December 2018 when it acquired the paving division of Lane Construction Corp. The sale was part of a $555 million deal between the two global infrastructure companies.
The other Maine plants are in Charlotte, Presque Isle, Hancock, Washington and Lewiston.