Contanda looks to expand Port property, but crude oil not part of their plans

Expansion would include eight new storage tanks for bulk liquid storage

Contanda has backed off the massive crude oil expansion project they had planned on Port of Grays Harbor property, but are now looking at another project that would bring eight new storage tanks for “petroleum and non-petroleum bulk liquids,” said Hoquiam City Administrator Brian Shay.

“The new tanks would store refined products, not crude oil,” said Shay.

Shay provided a breakdown of the differences between that project, brought forward when Contanda was known as Westway Terminals.

The big difference is abandoning crude oil in favor of processed, refined fuels. The crude oil facility would have had five new storage tanks compared to this latest proposal’s eight. The eight tanks would be smaller than those proposed originally, holding just over six million gallons of liquid as opposed the crude oil tanks’ proposed 8.4 million gallons. The new proposal would involve the installation of pipelines, rail unloading and vessel loading facilities, and adding another truck loading area for local distribution. Contanda is also considering adding a third rail line.

Train traffic would also see less of an increase under the new proposal. Gone are the 120-car trains in the original proposal that would be 1.2 miles long, replaced by 96-car trains. The new proposal would also drop train traffic from 229 trains a year to 204.

At Monday evening’s Hoquiam City Council meeting, Shay provided a recommendation that the council authorize signing an agreement with the Department of Ecology to serve as co-leads in the permit review and for the city to enter an agreement with a qualified outside consulting, at the expense of Contanda. It was approved.

Shay was asked if Contanda would be withdrawing their original permit application and providing a new one; he said he believed how it would be handled. Another commenter asked about the types of liquids that would be stored in the new tanks and Shay said a final list has not yet been provided but believed it would be used primarily for biodiesel.