Coal Export Activity of interest to Wyoming
During the 2014 Wyoming Legislative Session, HB 147 was introduced and enacted. The new legislation expanded the purview of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority to include coal exports to foreign markets.
Background: As the largest producer of coal in the U.S., Wyoming currently provides coal to over 30 states. With a low sulfur and mercury content, Wyoming Coal has been in high demand.
Exports to Foreign Markets: Wyoming‘s exports to foreign markets is equal to less than 1% of the State’s total production. The U.S. currently exports approximately 125 million tons annually. Virtually all of the current capacity is being utilized; however there are a number of projects under various stages of development which would expand such capacity.
Proposed Export Facilities under Development: Some of the major projects which would increase total U.S. capacity include the following:
Millennium Bulk Terminals: Millennium is currently engaged in the clean-up and redevelopment of the former Reynolds aluminum smelter site on the Columbia River in Cowlitz County near Longview, Washington. The aluminum smelter shut down over 10 years ago. The 540-acre site currently employs over 30 people and is a working port supporting local industry and manufacturing efforts across Washington State. Millennium imports alumina, a material used in the production of aluminum, and transloads that raw product for shipment to Alcoa’s Wenatchee Works aluminum smelter. The smelter in central Washington sustains 467 jobs and 1,070 indirect jobs in that area. In addition, Millennium currently transloads coal from rail to truck to supply Weyerhaeuser, a forest products company; this coal serves as fuel to assist in burning wet, woody waste material for electrical generation. Millennium is working with Northwest Alloys, as well as state and local agencies, to clean up the site and redevelop it into a world-class import and export facility. A major focus of the redevelopment is the proposed coal export facility, which will utilize less than 200 acres of the site. The existing dock and other acreage are available to other potential developments for additional bulk commodities for import or export.
A summary of the proposed Coal Export Project:
- Annual Capacity: 44 million metric tonnes
- Permitting Status: Scoping summary report released and draft EIS is scheduled for publication in September 2015
- Total Cost: $650 Million
- Number of direct and indirect jobs (O&M): 300
- In-Service Date: 2018
- Project Link: http://millenniumbulk.com
Gateway Pacific Terminal: Gateway Pacific Terminal will be a multi-commodity, dry bulk cargo-handling facility on nearly 1,500 acres in Whatcom County, Washington, with development occurring on about one-quarter of the site. The shipping, stevedoring, and warehousing facility – to be the largest on the West Coast of the U.S. – is the latest innovation of SSA Marine, a Northwest company that is a global leader in maritime services. The project will provide a highly efficient portal for American producers to export dry bulk commodities such as grain, potash, and coal to Asian markets.
A summary of the Project:
- Annual Capacity: 54 million tons
- Permitting Status: Scoping for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was completed on January 22, 2013. EIS currently being undertaken by county, state, and USACE with draft expected in Q2 2015
- Total Cost: $665 Million
- Number of Jobs (O&M): 1,250
- In-Service Date: TBD
- Project Link: http://gatewaypacificterminal.com
Morrow Pacific Terminal: The Morrow Pacific coal export project near Boardman, OR is committed to doing business the Oregon way. The project is setting new standards for protecting the environment, while supporting the economy. The project will create thousands of much-needed construction jobs and operations jobs. At full capacity it will pay more than $4 million in taxes annually to Columbia and Morrow counties and contribute about $800,000 a year to K-12 schools in each county.
A summary of the Project:
- Annual Capacity: 8.8 million tons
- Permitting Status: Oregon DEQ issued air quality, water quality and construction permits. Permits from Oregon Department of State Lands and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers are needed. The State of Oregon has recently denied the permit to construct; however, efforts continue.
- Total Cost: $242 Million
- Number of Jobs (O&M): 100
- In-Service Date: TBD
- Project Link: www.MorrowPacific.com
CCUS Technology & Coal Export Brochure which contains a summary of the projects and other information: Download here
Other Information: Some additional data/information relative to Coal Exports includes the following:
- A video produced by SSA Marine which includes segments with Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Wyoming State Senator Chris Rothfuss
- A 2014 Study by Western Washington University and the University of Washington addressing the economic impacts of the industrial activity at Cherry Point which is the location of the GPT Project.
The study results are profound and yet another example of why energy related industries help drive our economy in a positive disproportional way in terms of wages and taxes. Some of the key results include:
- Jobs within the Cherry Point zone represent 2.5% of the County’s employment, but support (directly or indirectly) a total of 9,000 jobs (11% of the overall jobs in the County) and 15% of all wages.
- Cherry Point industrial area jobs pay an average of $114,000 per year, almost three times the average County wage of $41,334.
- The three largest industries at Cherry Point pay over 5% of the overall property taxes in the County, 11% of property taxes for County Road Fund, 15% of the Ferndale Schools, and 21% of the Blaine Schools. The large tax contributions of these industries effectively reduce taxes for everyone else.
- The Whatcom County United Way estimates that the Cherry Point industries and their employees account for at least a third of its revenues.
- A Tour of Coal Operations in the Powder River Basin on November 4-5, 2014. A number of Wyoming entities hosted a tour which included a number of officials from Washington State including a member of the NookSack Tribe and local officials. A recent article addressing the tour is available http://trib.com/business/energy/wyoming-makes-the-pitch-for-exports-in-tours-to-powder/article_95d2a1c0-561d-511b-acf2-c697ffd5bf56.html