Infrastructure investments paying off
MarEx, June 29, 2017, The Maritime Executive
Records in container handling continue to be broken at both east and west coast ports as infrastructure investments start to pay off and market demand increases.
Monday June 26 was the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal, and the year has seen record throughput for U.S. east coast ports. In its first year of operation, over 1,500 Neopanamax vessels transited the new locks, with container ships representing nearly half of the Expansion’s traffic.
Project aims to bring back the magic of the Columbia River
Crystal Garcia, June 30, 2017, NBC Right Now.com
The Port of Kennewick along with the City of Kennewick have been working on the revitalization of Downtown Kennewick for years. Recently, the plans laid out in a study known as the The Bridge to Bridge study is bringing that goal to life.
Fore! Disc golf course nears opening at Pasco’s ‘Big Cross’
Kristin M. Kraemer, July 2, 2017, Tri-City Herald
Just north of Interstate 182 and west of the Tri-Cities Airport sits 52 acres of scablands that long ago were designated for cross country runners and trail walkers.
Last year, Pasco Parks & Recreation officials realized the area known as “Big Cross” is prime property for a new disc golf course.
So after developing several partnerships and scheduling work parties the first two months of summer, the city is close to opening an 18-hole course surrounded by the natural trails off Road 36. It is just north of Pasco Golfland.
Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article159373639.html
WDFW opens Southwest Washington headquarters in Ridgefield
Jonathan Haukaas, July 3, 2017, The Reflector
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s new, 31,000 square-foot facility in Ridgefield is a far cry from from the run-down building the agency occupied in Vancouver until its closure at the beginning of July.
The facility is on Port of Ridgefield-owned land, just west of Interstate 5. The port was awarded the 10-year lease contract in June 2016, and WDFW reports that the $8 million project was completed under budget.
Around 100 employees will occupy the facility, which opened for business at the beginning of this week. It is headquarters for Southwest Washington, which covers six different counties — Klickitat, Skamania, Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis and Wahkiakum.
State faces dual challenges from port, methanol opponents
Marissa Luck, June 29, 2017, The Daily News.com
Three environmental groups on Thursday appealed two shoreline permits needed for Northwest Innovation Works’ $1.8 billion project, saying they don’t do enough to fight climate change. The appeal, coupled with another appeal of the environmental impact statement on the project, could delay or potentially upend the project at the Port of Kalama.
Also Thursday, the Port of Kalama also filed its own appeal of the shoreline permits, arguing the state is inappropriately using the permit to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
In other words, the permit is under attack for being too lenient on one hand and too strict on the other.
Port Westward storage tank purchase would be for ethanol expansion, buyers say
Sean Bassinger, June 29, 2017, The Chronicle Online.com
Nine storage tanks out at Port Westward could be used to house massive amounts of crude oil.
But Global Partners officials say they want the tanks for another reason: development for their ethanol facility.
Oregon’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) commission voted 3-0 in Salem on Tuesday, June 27, to allow the sale of nine fuel storage tanks currently at Port Westward. Portland General Electric (PGE) owns the tanks and plans to sell them off to Global Partners for additional storage.
Conservation groups challenge world’s largest methanol refinery planned for Columbia River
Adrienne Bloch, Miles Johnson, Jared Margolis, Julia Reitan, June 29, 2017, Center for Biological Diversity
Environmental groups today challenged two permits for the world’s largest fracked methanol refinery, slated for development along the iconic Columbia River in Kalama, Wash.
The coalition of local and national groups — Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, represented by Earthjustice — filed an appeal with the Washington Shorelines Hearings Board because the permits fail to address threats to climate, safety, and public health.
The Shoreline Management Act permits, approved by the Washington Department of Ecology earlier this month, would allow the Port of Kalama and Northwest Innovation Works LLC to build a massive methanol refinery in the Columbia River shoreline. The refinery would convert fracked natural gas into methanol, which would be shipped to China to make plastics.
Maersk booking cargo but some US terminals still shut
JOC Staff, June 29, 2017, JOC.com
Maersk Line says it is close to bringing its operations back to normal after a massive cyberattack temporarily prevented the booking of cargo, but the largest US container terminals in Los Angeles and New Jersey operated by its sister company remained closed Thursday.
Although no serious delays or congestion problems are being reported, APM Terminals (APMT) and Maersk are bracing for a busy weekend with additional vessel arrivals. Marine terminal conditions up and down the West Coast and in other major gateways such as New York-New Jersey are further complicated by the global vessel-sharing 2M Alliance arrangement between Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) because some MSC vessels call at APMT and vice versa.
APMT’s smaller terminal in Mobile, Alabama, handled a limited number of transactions Wednesday and operated its gates at higher volume Thursday, using manual processes. The terminal, which last weekend took delivery of two new post-Panamax cranes, was scheduled to open again Friday.
Ridgefield examines future, partnerships
Adam Littman, June 30, 2017, The Columbian
The future of Ridgefield’s downtown will be built with partnerships.
That was the major theme Wednesday night at Old Liberty Theater, where nonprofit Ridgefield Main Street hosted an event looking at the future of the city.
“Partnerships are the life blood of what we do,” said Ridgefield School District Superintendent Nathan McCann, one of three panelists who spoke at the event.
Edmonds designs overpass connecting city to waterfront
Jake Whittenberg, July 5, 2017, KING5
Edmonds is moving forward with final design work on a ramp connecting the city to the waterfront, providing a solution to the long-standing problem of trains blocking access.
It’s been a safety issue over the years with several instances of emergency vehicles being unable to access the waterfront because trains were stopped on the tracks.
The ramp, connecting city streets on the bluff above the tracks to the waterfront below would be used for emergency vehicles and foot traffic only.
Port of Pasco names two directors as long-timers retire
Tri-City Herald, June 30, 2017, Tri-City Herald
The Tri-Cities Airport has a new director following the retirement of Ron Foraker, its long-time leader.
The Port of Pasco announced two major leadership changes as Foraker and its longtime financial director retired at the end of May.
Buck Taft, formerly deputy director of airports, succeeded Foraker in the post. Taft joined the port in 2011 and managed all airport operations. He also supervised the $43 million terminal expansion project completed this year.
New Port of Friday Harbor director hired
Port of Friday Harbor, June 30, 2017, San Juan Journal
Todd Nicholson has been hired as the new Port of Friday Harbor executive director, after evaluating more than 35 applications from around the country.
“It would be hard to overstate how excited I am about joining the community of Friday Harbor,” said Nicholson, who starts on July 5.
Nicholson graduated from Tillamook High School in Oregon. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating with honors and earning a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. He served in the infantry of the United States Army as a platoon leader, executive officer and operations officer.
Seattle, Tacoma ports avoid impact of cyberattack, so far
Jon Talton, June 29, 2017, The Seattle Times
This week’s Petya malicious software attack struck A.P. Moeller-Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping container operator. The Maersk Line website contained a page saying only, “We confirm that some Maersk IT systems are down. We are assessing the situation. The safety of your business and our people is our top priority. We will update when we have more information.”
According to the Journal of Commerce, the company was taking cargo bookings again, but its email and other communications systems were still down.
Northwest Seaport Alliance spokeswoman Tara Mattina told me the Maersk and APM Terminals computer systems were affected by the malware, “but they found workarounds in Tacoma and Seattle.”