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Governor LePage Meets With Nova Scotia Economic Minister About New Ferry Service
August 22, 2013
For Immediate Release: Thursday, Aug. 22
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531
PORTLAND – Governor Paul R. LePage welcomed Nova Scotia's economic development minister to Maine on Wednesday as productive talks continue on the development of a new ferry service between the two regions. The Governor met with Graham Steele, the province’s Minister of Economic and Rural Development, at the Ocean Gateway in Portland yesterday afternoon.
During the meeting, Steele provided an update on Nova Scotia's plans as it moves forward with negotiations with STM Quest – the Maine-based company – chosen to set up and run a new ferry service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine.
“Since 2009, Nova Scotia and Maine have missed a critical link between our citizens and economies,” said Governor LePage. “On behalf of the people of Maine, we welcome restoration of this important service and economic driver.”
Governor LePage was pleased to learn that Nova Scotia chose STM Quest and formally offered Minister Steele marketing assistance from the State of Maine, as well as help to secure an operating line of credit from a lending institution.
“I’m really pleased with the response of the State and City leaders that I met with in Maine,” said Minister Steele. “They’re excited about the prospect of a re-established ferry link, and are ready to do their part to make to make it happen.”
STM Quest, Inc., is a joint venture between Quest Navigation of Maine and ST Marine of Singapore. The ferry service is proposed to begin in the spring of 2014 using a new 161 meter ship that has capacity for 1250 passengers and 300 vehicles, and was the only Maine-based company to bid and commit in its plans a port of call in Portland, Maine.
This is the second economic development initiative the LePage Administration has assisted with to help bring business to the Portland waterfront. Governor LePage announced earlier this year that Eimskip (The Icelandic Steamship Company) signed a contract with Maine Port Authority to begin operations out of the International Marine Terminal in Portland.
Additionally, the Governor has dedicated $24 million in a proposed transportation bond for improvements to multimodal facilities that support projects, such as major development, on the Portland waterfront.
“Our roads and ports continue to be a focus of economic opportunity that helps create jobs,” said Governor LePage. “The restoration of the ferry service will boost Portland’s economy and Eimskip’s service will open new markets for businesses to generate economic growth throughout Maine.”