Friday, January 19, 2018

Vancouver Energy Faces Lease Loss

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA’s Board of Commissioners recently voted 3-0 to give notice to Vancouver Energy, a joint venture between Andeavor (formerly Tesoro Corp.) and Savage Companies planning to build a $210 million terminal at the port. The company must get the necessary licenses, permits and approvals to operate by March 31 or face lease termination.

The proposed terminal would take up to 360,000 barrels of crude delivered daily by rail and store it before transferring it to vessels going to West Coast oil refineries, where it would become transportation fuel and other products for US consumers. When fully operational, the business would have the potential to generate $2 billion for the local and regional economy and “uniquely positions Washington to bring lower-carbon fuels to the West Coast,” according to Vancouver Energy’s website. The project, which has been under review by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) since August 2013, received a setback December 19 when the council announced it would recommend that Gov. Jay Inslee deny the project.

“It’s gratifying to have our commission be united in its vision for the future of the port and community,” said Commission President Eric LaBrant. “We still await the governor’s decision on the project and we continue to be focused on supporting businesses, growing jobs and providing benefit to our community.”

Commissioner Jerry Oliver, a longtime supporter of the project and the EFSEC review process, said he was aware of the council’s rejection, but still sees a way forward. “I believe that when the decision on the oil terminal is behind us, in five years or ten years, the port will still be doing great things for the benefit of the community,” he said.