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NEXT Renewable Fuels signed a Memorandum of Understanding with two regional union groups, pledging to hire union labor to build its proposed $1.1 billion green diesel plant at Port Westward, the company announced Tuesday.

NEXT wants to start operating the plant by 2021 on Port of Columbia County land north of Clatskanie along the Columbia River.

The agreement means workers represented through the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council and the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters will get the 1,000 jobs needed construct the facility.

NEXT officials say the plant will employ 200 permanent jobs.

“This is a project that is good for Oregon. It will help our state and region achieve important renewable fuel standards while creating economic benefits that stay in the region,” Willy Myers, executive secretary treasurer for the CPBTC, said in a prepared statement. “We at CPBTC are excited to partner with NEXT to build this project to provide jobs for our members and a clean energy source for the Northwest.”

According to the NEXT press release, the next step will be negotiating a project labor agreement, but it didn’t offer details about a timeline.

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