Kinder Morgan had been surveying the Columbia River area since Q1 2012. But despite rail, water and road infrastructure, the site near Clatskanie lacked sufficient room for heavy equipment, according to company spokesman Allen Fore. The prospect of more than 300 jobs—and exports of 50 million tons of coal from Montana and Wyoming—will disappear.
According to the engineers at the Houston-based terminal and pipeline operator, however, “It’s not about coal, it’s about siting—we couldn’t find a configuration on the site,” Fore told Platts. “We looked at multiple options and different footprints, but couldn’t find one compatible with the facility we wanted to construct.” Building the $200 million facility would have employed 80 people in management and operations.
Three other terminals, though, remain under consideration—two in Washington and one in Oregon. These include Gateway Pacific near Bellingham, Wash., at 52.9 million tons annually; Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, up to 48.5 million annual tons; and Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific Project in Boardman, Ore., at up to 8.8 million tons.
Bellingham and Longview are undergoing lengthy permit reviews. Morrow Pacific’s permit review, meanwhile, is delayed. Ambre officials, though, have expressed hope their project will begin shipping in 2014 receiving coal at the Port of Morrow before shipping via covered barges to Port Westward prior to transfer onto ocean-bound ships according to The Portland Oregonian.
Fore noted Kinder Morgan is scouting for other Northwest coal export sites, though he declined to name specifics.