Port of Tacoma to Build Terminal for Crude Oil Trains

By Steve Wilhelm, May 23, 2013, Puget Sound Business Journal

Targa Sound Terminals will invest at least $80 million in a Port of Tacoma terminal to receive crude oil brought by railroad from Montana, at a site where a container terminal was once planned.

This was the message from Port of Tacoma chief executive John Wolfe, speaking after the port’s annual meeting in Tacoma Thursday. He said the port is working to adapt to changing global trade patterns.

“The competition, the other port gateways throughout the world, are investing heavily in their infrastructure,” he said. “We are looking at major investments in infrastructure to be competitive in the future.”

The petroleum terminal is to be built on an 80-acre site, formerly the location of the Kaiser Aluminum smelter, where the port until recently had planned to build another container terminal for imports.

But the container market has “softened,” said Wolfe, adding that the port can reach its 10-year goal of importing 3 million 20-foot containers annually with the space it has.

Some of the crude could be refined by nearby U.S. Oil, while the crude also could be barged to Washington refineries to the north and elsewhere on the West Coast.

Several other projects to handle crude oil brought in by rail are planned in Washington.

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