Port of St. Helens Commissioners Approve Project

Jan 27 2012
By: Jenna
Categories: Uncategorized
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Please Contact:
Brian Gard, (w) 503-221-0100
bgard@gardcommunications.com

Port of St. Helens Commissioners unanimously approve Terminal Service agreement for the Morrow Pacific project at public meeting

On Wednesday night, the Port of St. Helens commissioners held a public meeting to receive comments on two proposed coal export projects. More than 150 people attended and there were numerous comments from supporters and opponents. Local ILWU leaders and local citizens emphasized the importance of family-wage jobs; representatives from the Sierra Club and Columbia Riverkeeper as well as local citizens raised environmental concerns.  The meeting was well organized by commissioners, and all who signed up were able to comment.

After the public comment period, the commissioners went into executive session. When they returned, they voted unanimously to approve a Terminal Services agreement with an Ambre Energy subsidiary, Pacific Transloading LLC, enabling the company to proceed with plans for a transloading facility at the Port of St. Helens’ Port Westward Industrial Park. The transloading facility is part of the Morrow Pacific project, which Ambre is developing to provide an export route for Powder River Basin coal to U.S. trade allies in the Asia-Pacific market.

“We are gratified by the commissioners’ unanimous support for our project, which will bring an estimated 25 family-wage job to Columbia County, 25 family-wage jobs to Morrow County and 55 family-wage jobs in the transportation of coal for a total of 105 local jobs overall,” said Clark Moseley, chief operating officer of Ambre Energy North America. The company will make a 10-cents-per-ton contribution to K-12 schools in each county, and the $150 million project will also provide significant property tax and port fee revenues and. In addition, no special tax breaks were asked for, according to Moseley.

The Morrow Pacific project involves shipping coal by train to an entirely enclosed facility at the Port of Morrow and then downriver by covered barge. At Port Westward, coal will be transferred from barges to oceangoing Panamax vessels with a state-of-the-art, $40 million transloading barge, Moseley added.

“We are absolutely committed to meeting Oregon’s high standards and doing business the Oregon way,” said Moseley. “Coal will be transported by energy-efficient, covered barges rather than rail from the Port of Morrow to Port Westward; there will be no visible coal piles at either the Port of St. Helens or Port of Morrow; and the project is designed to eliminate coal dust from the train unloading at the Port of Morrow to ship loading at the Port of St. Helens.”

When the Morrow Pacific project begins operations, Ambre expects to ship 3.5 million metric tons annually, beginning as soon as mid-2013. Full operational and permitted capacity is expected to be 8 million metric tons annually, subject to Port approval.

For more information, visit www.MorrowPacific.com.

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Ambre Energy North America is a subsidiary of Ambre Energy, founded in 2005 by CEO and Managing Director Edek Choros and headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Ambre Energy North America is an emerging energy leader with head offices in Salt Lake City. Ambre’s strategy is to acquire coal assets and develop the infrastructure required to serve strong and growing export markets.

The goal of the Morrow Pacific project is to develop an export route for low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin to U.S. trade allies in the Asia-Pacific market. As the Morrow Pacific project moves forward, Ambre Energy expects to be held to high standards and to do business the Oregon way by respecting the environment, communicating honestly and operating transparently.