Friday, October 25, 2013

Port of Vancouver USA Reaffirms
Oil Terminal Lease

For the second time in three months, the Port of Vancouver USA has approved a 10-year lease with the Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal (TSPT) for a crude oil handling facility at the port.

The lease, which was unanimously approved by the port’s three-member Board of Commissioners during the board’s Oct. 22 meeting, was the same document the commission approved on July 23, 2013. A new vote was placed on the Oct. 22 agenda in light of concerns brought to the port’s attention about procedures used during a July 22 workshop leading up to the prior vote. The concerns raised were focused on the port’s use of executive session during the workshop.

“We are confident that our use of executive session was appropriate,” Port of Vancouver CEO Todd Coleman said. “However, because concerns were raised, the port presented the lease to the commissioners during today’s meeting for a new vote; and after more than two hours of public comment and more than a half hour of deliberation, the commissioners voted to approve the lease.”

The project, proposed by longtime tenant Tesoro in partnership with the logistics company Savage, would bring North American crude oil to the port by rail where it will then be transferred to marine vessels for transport to refineries in Washington, Alaska and California.

About 42 acres of port property is expected to be leased by TSPT to accommodate a rail unloading facility, storage tanks, and a vessel loading area. The estimated capital investment by TSPT is $100 million, and revenue to the port over the 10-year lease period is expected to exceed $45 million.

When operational, the terminal would be capable of shipping up to 360,000 barrels of crude a day, with up to four trains arriving daily from North Dakota and Canada. The facility is also expected to create between 80 and 120 permanent jobs and 250 temporary construction jobs.

With the October 22 lease approval, the project continues to move through the environmental permitting process. Washington State’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is acting as the lead agency for local and state permits, and the companies will work through an extensive process, addressing local, state and federal requirements. TSPT, like all port tenants, is required to obtain all necessary permits as a condition of operation at the port.