Saying that they can’t find a proper site on the Port Westward property near Clatskanie, Kinder Morgan is announcing that they’re dropping plans to construct a coal export facility at that location. The company’s Public Affairs Director, Allen Fore, made the announcement during a public comment period at yesterday’s meeting of the Port of St. Helens Commission. Local officials say that they’re disappointed by the decision, lamenting the loss of jobs and tax revenue that the project would have brought to the area. Environmental groups are cheering the decision. Fore says that the door is not completely closed to doing business at the Port of St. Helens, possibly looking at other materials.
One of the other main players in the plans to ship coal through the Northwest to Asia is also having some issues. It’s being reported that Australia-based Ambre Energy is trying to renegotiate sale terms of a coal mine in Montana, which is planned to be the source of much of the coal that would go through Longview to Asia. Back in December, a complex deal was announced, where Ambre Energy would pay $57 million to Cloud Peak Energy for the Decker Mine, located near the Montana-Wyoming border. The sale was originally scheduled to close on April 1st, but the parties are now requesting an extension to July 12th, citing “unforeseen complications” with the original sale agreement. Both companies say that they still expect the deal to be finalized. Last year and earlier this year, media reports came out that Ambre was having serious financial problems, but company officials said that the stated “problems” were not uncommon for companies involved in these types of projects.