This is the first in a two-part series that takes an in-depth look at the two proposed coal export terminal projects being considered by the Port of St. Helens.
Columbia County may once again host a major export port if two proposals recently received by the Port of St. Helens culminate in the firms agreeing to do business here.
Kinder Morgan Terminals Inc. or KMT, a logistics company headquartered in Longview, Texas, has proposed shipping coal through a facility it plans to build at Port Westward. A second firm, Pacific Transloading LLC, said it plans to transfer 3.5 million tons of coal from barges loaded at the Port of Morrow, Oregon to ocean-going ships at Port Westward.
If both plans develop as proposed, about 300 ships a year would dock at the port’s Port Westward terminal to load bulk coal, for shipment to overseas ports, mostly in Asia.
“We can start laying the foundation for continued economic development,” said Patrick Trapp, Executive Director for the Port of St. Helens.
While both firms specify coal as the commodity being transferred, the two proposals are separate and very different. This article examines the Pacific Transloading proposal.
Pacific Transloading LLC, a subsidiary of Ambre Energy North America plans to barge coal to the Port Westward site from its transfer site in Morrow County, Ore. Ambre Energy is an energy company and owns the coal it’s moving. Its proposal calls for rail cars of coal from the Powder River Basin to be unloaded at a covered facilitiy in Morrow and then loaded on specially constructed, covered barges for the trip downriver to Port Westward.