Port of Longview passes on $1.25B energy project, cites viability concerns

The Port of Longview has decided not to move forward on a pair of proposed energy facilities due to concerns over the $1.25 billion project’s financial viability.

In an unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Port of Longview Board of Commissioners directed the port’s Interim CEO Norm Krehbiel to discontinue talks with Waterside Energy LLC, related to its proposals to build an $800+ million crude oil/biofuel refinery and a $450 million transload facility for liquid petroleum gas (LPG), also known as WEST (Washington Energy Storage & Transfer LLC).

According to the port, Waterside Energy missed a deadline to supply financial information on the WEST project, and information provided post-deadline was heavily redacted and failed to communicate financial support of the project.

“We have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure project proposals are viable,” said Commission President Bob Bagaason in a press release. “This decision is based on the proponent’s failure to demonstrate the WEST project’s financial wherewithal, plain and simple.”

The proposed refinery would have been capable of handling 45,000 barrels of biofuel and crude oil per day. The WEST facility would have been able to receive 75,000 barrels of LPG per day. In total, the facilities would have supported more than 180 full-time jobs, according to Waterside Energy.

Port Commissioner Doug Averett said the decision to reject these specific proposals does not mean the port is opposed to new energy projects.

“This isn’t about fossil fuels, I want to make that clear,” said Averett. “The Port of Longview is open for business and all project proposals will be evaluated on their individual merits, not the commodity.”