For 36 years the Newington company Sea-3 has imported propane from Algeria and other countries. Ships come into port, off-load the fuel, and Sea-3 stores it and sells it locally.
Then two years ago, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in places like North Dakota led to a boom in production, and American propane actually became cheaper than foreign propane. And with that, says Sea-3s’ vice-president Paul Bogan, the company’s business model was no longer profitable.
“Essentially,” he says, “we’ve been out of business for the last couple of years.”