Two coal partners back out on port

2013-03-11T07:00:00Z 2013-03-11T10:11:15Z Two coal partners back out on portThomas Moriarty, The World Coos Bay World
March 11, 2013 7:00 am  • 

COOS BAY — Port officials aren’t saying much about the departure of two key partners in a major coal exporting project.

An amendment to the port’s exclusive negotiation agreement for Project Mainstay was signed last week, indicating that both Mitsui & Co. and the Korean Electric Power Corp. have terminated their involvement. Elise Hamner, communications manager for the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, confirmed Saturday that Metropolitan Stevedore Co. of Wilmington, Calif. — doing business as Metro Ports — remains the port’s sole partner in the project.

The amended agreement expires March 31.

“We’re in an agreement with Project Mainstay through the end of the month, and then we’ll see where we’re at,” the port’s Chief Commercial Officer Martin Callery said Monday.

How the loss of two partners will affect the coal project is unclear. Callery would give no indication of the port’s plans or its prospects for finding new partners.

Project Mainstay is the port’s code name for its partnership for the construction of a bulk coal export terminal in Coos Bay. The proposed terminal has been harshly criticized by environmental groups, who allege rail-based coal exports pose unnecessary health and environmental risks.

The amended agreement was revealed in response to a public records request from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Hamner said Oregon Public Broadcasting had requested copies of the amended agreement several months ago, but the port didn’t have signed copies of the documents in hand until Friday.

More documents pertaining to Project Mainstay may be released under Oregon’s public records law in coming months.

Coos County Circuit Court Judge Paula Bechtold ruled in January that the port must waive approximately $20,000 in fees under an extensive public records request filed by the Sierra Club. Hamner said the port has yet to decide whether it will appeal Bechtold’s ruling.

Reporter Thomas Moriarty can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or by email at thomas.moriarty@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. c97459
    Report Abuse
    c97459 - March 09, 2013 3:41 pm
    The "code name" for the project should be wishful thinking. Having worked in the coal train industry for decades I can tell you from my experience the tracks won't hold up on heavy coal trains.
    Yes you can try and run these trains slow and get by for a while but even at slow speeds you will get harmonics that will cause track failures. Coal trains that support electric power companies need to be reliable and have a fast turn around time. Jipo rail lines are destined for disaster.
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