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Global Partners operates a facility at Port Westward near Clatskanie.

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Global Partners will no longer be buying oil tanks from Portland General Electric (PGE) due to the termination of the Purchase and Sale agreement made between the two parties in 2017.

Global owns and operates the Columbia Pacific Bio Refinery (CPBR) at Port Westward.

“While subsequently approved by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon, the transaction was subject to additional conditions agreed to by the parties in the purchase and sale agreement,” the termination notice from the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) states.

Reaction

One Columbia County Environmental group is calling the cancellation of the agreement good news.

“That means 400,000 barrels of oil storage are no longer available,” Riverkeeper Conservation Direction Dan Serres said. “That’s a significant change.”

“We hope that Global recognizes the deep-seated unease along the rail line with potential oil train shipments, and makes a firm commitment to public safety by amending its permit applications to DEQ to remove crude oil transloading from its plans altogether,” Serres said.

Global Partners has used trains to carry crude oil to its facility at Port Westward, which has unsettled Columbia Riverkeeper and concerned citizens. The most recent controversial action regarding the company was in December of 2018  when the Port of Columbia County approved heavier oil shipments via train.

The transaction is outlined in the application for approval of the sale of property from March of 2017.

“The agreement states that PGE will sell to CPBR the nine storage tanks that comprise the PGE Tank Facility, along with a twenty-inch pipeline to the Port Westward dock, and CPBR will sell to PGE the two storage tanks that comprise the CPBR Tank Facility," according to the application for approval.

Agreement Void

The PGE / Global Purchase and Sale Agreement is no longer viable, according to the PGE, because conditions that had to be met were not met by the specified time period.

There were two different sets of conditions, including five conditions regarding insurance and access rights between PGE and CPBR as well as three conditions regarding approvals from different government entities.

According to Global vice president of communications Catie Kerns the facility is no longer in need of the storage tanks.

“Currently we are working on adding renewable diesel, a cleaner-burning fuel derived from plant oils and animal fats," Kerns said. "Driven by state and federal climate policy there is a large demand for renewable diesel."

Global is still allowed, under its Oregon Department of Environmental Quality permit, to transload crude oil and ethanol. That permit is up for renewal and is currently in the public comment period. All comments due by 5 p.m. on June 5.

The permit renewal will include a modification that would allow CPBR to transload renewable diesel.

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