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Port, NEXT Renewable Fuels, Global Partners, PGE working toward use agreements

PORT OF COLUMBIA COUNTY - Port Westward is home to facilities for Portland General Electric and Global Partners, and will soon be home to NEXT Renewable Fuels.The Port of Columbia County approved a fourth amendment to the site development and option agreement with NEXT Renewable Fuels earlier this week.

The amendment provides more time to complete use agreements with the port and other major players at Port Westward: Portland General Electric and Global Partners LP.

Under the option agreement with the port, NEXT has to join use agreements for the dock, water use, road maintenance and rail access.

Global Partners responded to draft use agreements with pages of thorough feedback and questions, port staff said Wednesday, Dec. 11.

PGE, however, had not provided feedback on the use agreement drafts provided by the port on Oct. 17. According to port attorney Robert Salisbury, port staff met with PGE on Nov. 4 and requested comments by Nov. 22. But, Salisbury said, PGE missed that deadline and the parties set a new deadline for Dec. 6, which PGE also missed.

"In principle everyone agrees to adding NEXT to these agreements, it's the details," said Sean Clark, the Port Westward terminal manager.

In a staff report provided to the commission, Clark wrote that all the parties were requesting additional time.

"This has proven to be an arduous task as all of the updated Use Agreements have previous versions that are based upon and are referenced in the latest drafts," Clark wrote. "Taking the time to carefully assess how adding Next may impact the other users will pay off in getting solid Use Agreements drafted and approved by all parties."

Under the approved amendment, NEXT has until June 30 to finalize the use agreements.


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