Port Action

Port of Columbia County Commissioners have voted to amend a site development and option agreement with NEXT Renewable Fuels allowing the Port to consider leasing 80 acres to NEXT for an Advanced Green Diesel production facility.

The Port vote came during a meeting on Wednesday morning, June 5.

The 80-acre parcel is adjacent to the 25 acres NEXT recently secured from Teevin Bros, providing a contiguous 105-acre site where NEXT will develop a facility to produce 37,500 barrels per day of Advanced Green Diesel. Both parcels are zoned for industrial use.

“This step affirms our commitment to Columbia County and will allow us to immediately move forward on permitting Oregon’s first Advanced Green Diesel production facility," NEXT President Lou Soumas said. "Our unique product uses all renewable feedstock and will help Oregon and the nation meet clean fuels standards."

Specifically, the Port and NEXT have amended the Site Development and Option Agreement, which they entered into on Sept. 12, 2018, to reflect NEXT’s selection of the 80-acre property adjacent to its existing 25-acre plot. The planned Advanced Green Diesel production facility is projected to create more than 200 full-time, family-wage jobs, generate more than $12 million a year in local property tax revenues, and pay more than $5.5 million Port fees.While the new site is in the Enterprise Zone, NEXT has committed that it will not accept any tax breaks, and will pay the full amount to the local community.

"We are encouraged in this latest step to bring a renewable, environmentally friendly energy project to the Port District," Port of Columbia County Executive Director Doug Hayes said. "NEXT will enhance our region, bringing jobs and economic impact and making Oregon a leader in renewable fuel production.”

NEXT recently announced an agreement to source its feedstock through BP. The feedstock will include used cooking oils, animal fats and tallows, greases and seed oils. NEXT’s feedstock will not include any virgin palm oil. Moreover, the NEXT facility will only be permitted or able to process renewable feedstock for biofuels.

About Advanced Green Diesel

Advanced Green Diesel is a second-generation biofuel, meaning it is a drop-in replacement for fossil fuel-based diesel. While you can blend Advanced Green Diesel with traditional diesel, you don’t have to. Our advanced biofuel can be used in diesel engines without modification and without negative long-term effects while burning cleaner than other fuel options.

About NEXT

NEXT is focused on the development and production of second-generation advanced biofuels, including renewable diesel, renewable propane and renewable naphtha to supply contracted off-take agreements for customers in the western United States and Canada. NEXT’s fuels reduce life-cycle greenhouse gas emission by up to 80%, improving the environment and moving us forward to a greener future. More information at www.NEXTrenewables.com.

About the Port of Columbia County

The Port of Columbia County offers a variety of sites for industrial development in its 9-site portfolio of about 2,400 acres of land, sites with excellent highway, rail, and river access, including the Port Westward Industrial Park.

The Port of committed to being stewards of our environment. Every project and practice in our industry has some impact on the natural surroundings, so we always ensure balance given our environmental impact within the Port District. For more information, visit www.portofcolumbiacounty.org.

About Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program

The Oregon legislature set a clean fuels standard in 2015 that transitions the state toward low-carbon transportation fuels. The standard takes into account the pollution created during the entire life cycle of the fuel – from when it’s harvested, through refining and finally out of the tailpipe.

When analyzed over the entire life cycle of the product, NEXT’s Advanced Green Diesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing more than 1 million automobiles from the road. In California, new data show that biodiesel and renewable diesel have delivered the largest-ever reduction in transport-related greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Follow this developing story here and in the Wednesday editions of The Chronicle.

Port adopts budget

The Port of Columbia County Board of Commissioners also unanimously adopted the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget during its June 5 meeting.

The commission voted to hold the property tax levy steady at $0.0886 per thousand of assessed value, meaning the annual taxes on a home assessed at $250,000 will be approximately $22.15 in 2019. Of the port’s $18.5 million budget, less than 2.5 percent of overall resources are generated from the property tax levy.

At $18.5 million, the port’s 2019-2020 budget is an increase of $2.9 million from the 2018-2019 budget. This increase is attributed largely to the capital projects planned for this fiscal year.

Budget highlights include:

  • Beginning balance is forecast to be $6 million, which is an increase of $325,000 from this time last year.
  • There are 42 commercial / industrial tenants spread throughout the port’s facilities and over 100 individual tenants each at the airport and marina. Combined budgeted revenues for all tenant leases, permits, and licenses are more than $4.2 million.
  • Investment of $10.4 million in capital projects at selected port sites. Significant projects include an upgrade to the west side water and sewer infrastructure, as well as a 31,500 sq. ft. building at the Scappoose Industrial Airpark, and a 35,000 sq. ft. speculative building at McNulty Industrial Park.

The port has spent over $26.4 million over the past eight fiscal years throughout the district.

To view a copy of the 2019-2020 budget, visit the Port of Columbia County’s webpage at www.portofcolumbiacounty.org.

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