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UMFK Affirms Agreement with Local Energy Supplier and Use of Locally Sourced Wood Pellets

Fort Kent, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent affirmed today that it continues to purchase energy from a Daigle Oil Company, a Maine-based vendor headquartered in Fort Kent with 175 employees throughout Northern Maine. The university’s clarifying statement came following the unfortunate news that market forces and unseasonably warm weather have forced Northeast Pellets in Ashland, Maine, to reduce its production of wood pellets.

The University of Maine System issued a competitive solicitation for wood energy at the University of Maine at Fort Kent in the fall of 2014 in compliance with Maine law and as part of an effort to achieve savings, reduce carbon emissions, and provide support for the emerging wood pellet industry and the forest products industry. Daigle Oil Company of Fort Kent was one of two bidders to respond and, as the low bidder, was awarded a contract that runs through June of 2016.

To ensure stability of pellet supply, the solicitation required that the vendor have two independent sources of wood pellets. Northeast Pellets of Ashland has been and continues to be one of the sources used by Daigle Oil Company to supply UMFK according to a statement issued today by the company.

“Daigle Oil Company has a long history of supporting local businesses, including Northeast Pellets, who we’ve been supporting since we entered the pellet delivery business in the spring of 2012 and we continue to purchase pellets from them,” said Sonya Dechene LeBoeuf,” Marketing Manager for Daigle Oil Company.

“A stipulation of the UMFK contract required pellet supply from two separate sources. We use Northeast Pellets and a Canadian supplier due to the fact no other local suppliers exist in this area,” continued Dechene LeBoeuf.

The University of Maine at Fort Kent broke ground on its new biomass plant in June of 2013, making a commitment to end the campus dependence on fossil fuel, achieve energy savings, and provide support for locally sourced biomass energy products. The biomass plant also serves Fort Kent Community High School.

“While we regret learning that Northeast Pellets has been forced to reduce its production, UMFK remains committed to working with our local energy supplier to ensure that locally-sourced wood pellets continue to provide clean, efficient energy to our campus and community,” said University of Maine at Fort Kent Interim President John Murphy.