Grays Harbor Signs Option To Lease For Train-To-Barge Oil Facility

Apr 12, 2013

The Port of Grays Harbor near Aberdeen has announced an agreement to lease property for a crude oil unloading and storage facility. The oil would arrive by train and then be loaded on to barges bound for refineries on the West coast. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

  The Port of Grays Harbor has been looking for other options since a proposal to build a coal export terminal there fell through last year.

Oil seems to be the next hot commodity. There are billions of barrels of oil in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. Some of it is already traveling through the Northwest by train to refineries in Anacortes, Tacoma and Cherry Point.

Grays Harbor wouldn’t be refining the oil, just loading it from trains into storage tanks and then onto barges.

Gary Nelson is the executive director of the Port of Grays Harbor.

Nelson: “We feel that it compliments the existing ag products and automobiles and heavy equipment that we handle.”

The terminal would be built and operated by U.S. Development Group of Houston.

The company now has two years to conduct further analysis and get the required permits before construction can begin.

The Port said the company hasn’t submitted a plan yet but that the facility could be serviced by a train every two to three days.

Oil could make up between 30 to 40 percent of the port’s exports if the facility is built.

The Department of Ecology has recently voiced concerns about the risk of a spill from increased oil train traffic in the region.

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