Two key investors have pulled out of developing a coal terminal at the Port of Coos Bay, which could doom the project and further clear the decks for three other proposed terminals on the lower Columbia River.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Mitsui & Co., the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese trading company, and Korean Electric Power Corp., a potential coal buyer, have dropped out of the project, citing a document posted on the International Port of Coos Bay’s website.
Metropolitan Stevedore Company of Wilmington, Calif., known as Metro Ports, has until the end of March to decide if it wants to renew its negotiating agreement with the port, according to the report.
If the Coos Bay project is abandoned, four coal terminal proposals would remain in the Pacific Northwest. West of Longview, Millennium Bulk Terminals has proposed building a $643 million coak dock at the former Reynolds Metals Co. site. The company has submitted permits and is waiting on regulatory agencies to select a consultant this month to conduct public hearings on the project.
Millennium CEO Ken Miller has said he believes Asian demand is high enough to sustain all proposed West Coast coal terminals, and that Millennium is planning to push forward regardless of whether Metro Ports’ project or other proposals fizzle. Miller was traveling on business Monday and unavailable for comment.
Two coal terminals have also been proposed at Port Westward near Clatskanie. Australia-based Ambre Energy has proposed loading 8 million tons of coal annually onto ships from barges and is further along in the regulatory process than other companies. Texas-based Kinder Morgan has yet to file permits to build a second terminal at the port.
Gateway Pacific has proposed building a $600 million terminal near Bellingham, which would be the largest in North America.