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Ethanol transloading slated to begin this month

Global Partners prepares for transition to ethanol at Port Westward

Global Partners LP, the fuel company that operates Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery at Port Westward, may soon begin transloading ethanol.

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery at Port Westward is slated to receive ethanol shipments later this month. The site is in transition from a crude oil transloading facility to an ethanol transloading site.
The company announced in January it was halting its crude oil transloading operations and laying off 28 employees, in preparation for transitioning to an ethanol transfer station.

Last week, a company official said ethanol operations are slated to get underway later this month.

“We still continue to employee 12 full-time employees that are involved with the transition of the facility to ethanol transloading operations,” Dan Luckett, manager of the CPBR, told Port of St. Helens commissioners and meeting attendees Wednesday, June 8.

Luckett said there have been 107 inspections to the bio-refinery to date from federal and state agencies, along with the U.S. Coast Guard.

It’s unclear how much ethanol will be shipped to the


Since Global Partners began hauling crude oil over rail lines in Columbia County to its refinery at Port Westward in Clatskanie, the company and the port have faced significant public scrutiny.

On Friday, June 3, a train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire near Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier. An estimated 10,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Columbia River.

City leaders in Mosier, along with Gov. Kate Brown, called for a moratorium on all oil train shipments in the wake of the derailment and spill.

The incident happened more than six months after Global Partners stopped transporting crude oil, but future operations involving ethanol haven’t quelled safety concerns from residents.

Global Partners could bring back crude oil transloading to its bio-refinery after a planned site expansion is complete. The company has said it needs more storage space at its Port Westward facility to be able to work with ethanol and crude oil.

It’s unclear how much ethanol the company plans to transport through the county.

Luckett did not respond to requests for additional comment.