Vancouver Port Buys Smelter Siteby Tom Stundza
Purchasing.com, February 14, 2007
The Port of Vancouver, Wash., is spending $48.25 million to buy a 218-acre former aluminum smelter and fabrication plant and dock facility on the Columbia River owned by Alcoa and Evergreen Aluminum.
Opened in 1940 by Alcoa, the facility curtailed operations in 1999 due to skyrocketing regional electricity prices. "This property is one of the last waterfront industrial sites of its size available on the West Coast," says Larry Paulson, the portŐs executive director. "It will allow the port to capitalize on exploding growth in international trade to generate economic value."
He says the site will be used for a combination of marine and industrial operations. Paulson says a recently-completed trade capacity study forecasts a 67% increase in cargo to Portland-Vancouver ports by 2025. In addition, the port's long-term contracts with eight shippers and record tonnage growth in multiple commodities could fill existing dock and storage space within a couple years. Break-bulk and project cargo volumes at the port have increased 128% over the past five years and wind energy project cargo will grow 300% in 2007 alone. The port's non-marine industrial facilities have been near 100% capacity in recent years.
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