Friday, September 12, 2014

Longview Official: Terminal Talks Progressing

By Mark Edward Nero

Two months after saying negotiations with a Texas company that wants to build a propane and butane export terminal at the port have gone poorly, Port of Longview officials are saying that progress has been made.

On Sept. 9, port CEO Geir-Eilif Kalhagen told port commissioners that negotiations with Haven Energy progressed significantly last week. The port has closed “a lot of the gaps” in negotiations with Haven for lease of port property and dock use, Kalhagen said.

It was a marked contrast from Kalhagen’s July 8 comments to the port board, when he said he was disappointed with the talks so far with Haven, a subsidiary of Houston-based natural gas-related infrastructure company Sage Midstream. Kalhagen said at the time that Haven didn’t understand Washington environmental regulations or pricing structures.

Haven is proposing an export facility to move propane and butane, currently being flared in the Midwest, to energy markets around the Pacific Rim. The company is considering building a unit train-accessible rail unloading facility, storage tanks and ship loading area at the port with the capability to load marine vessels with up to an about capacity of 550,000 barrels.

The company’s proposal calls for the cargo to be railed to the port from the North Dakota and South Dakota, then refrigerated and stored on site at Longview before being loaded to vessels for export to Hawaii, Mexico and Asia.

In April, the company entered into a one-year option agreement with the port to evaluate the project.