Port and Hoquiam Agree on Lease Option of City Site as Part of Proposed potash export facility

Submitted by Port of Grays Harbor

At the September 11, 2018, Commission meeting the Port of Grays Harbor Commission authorized Executive Director Gary Nelson to sign an Option to Lease 85 acres of property adjacent to port-owned Marine Terminal 3 from the City of Hoquiam. The land would be required if BHP, a global resource company, should select Grays Harbor as the preferred site for their proposed potash export facility. Hoquiam’s City Council also authorized the Option to be executed at its City Council meeting on September 10th. The agreement outlines the terms and conditions of a lease and is contingent upon BHP selecting Grays Harbor for their proposed export facility.

Port of Grays Harbor
The Port Commission authorized an Option to Lease with the City of Hoquiam for 85 acres near Terminal 3 that will be required for BHP’s proposed potash export facility. Photo courtesy: Port of Grays Harbor

BHP has been working with the Port to establish a potential Pacific Northwest potash export facility. While the Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal 3 site is still one of two sites on the West Coast being considered, the Option to Lease is the next step in assuring BHP that the property is available should the Grays Harbor site be selected.

In May 2017, the Port provided BHP with an Access Agreement to conduct due diligence on the 150 acre Terminal 3 site in Hoquiam. The company’s due diligence has included geotechnical, environmental, cultural and other site investigations pertinent to their proposed project. BHP has actively engaged local stakeholders, regulators and businesses, including a public open house in September 2017. Potash, or potassium chloride, is a naturally occurring mineral and a key ingredient in agricultural fertilizer.

The Port Commission authorized an Option to Lease with the City of Hoquiam for 85 acres near Terminal 3 that will be required for BHP’s proposed potash export facility.
In a presentation to the Port Commission in June 2018, BHP outlined how the proposed potash export facility would utilize the deep-water shipping infrastructure and uplands consistent with the Port Commission’s vision for the site. If BHP’s Board approves the Jansen Project in Saskatchewan, Canada to progress into execution and the company selects the Grays Harbor site, BHP’s investment in their facility would create jobs and increase trade volumes through this Pacific Coast port. The project is also consistent with existing City zoning and appears to be compatible with neighboring uses

Founded in 1911, the Port of Grays Harbor is one of Washington State’s oldest port districts and Washington’s only deep-water port located directly on the Pacific Ocean. The Port of Grays Harbor operates 4 deep-water marine terminals, the Westport Marina, Bowerman Airport, Grays Harbor ship assist services, numerous public waterfront access facilities, in addition to industrial and business parks throughout the County. The addition of Satsop Business Park increased the Port’s properties to more than 1,000 acres of industrial properties and an additional 1,200 acres of sustainably managed forestland. Strategically located midway between Seattle and Portland and less than 1 ½ hours from open sea, the Port of Grays Harbor provides businesses a diverse portfolio of facilities. More information on the Port of Grays Harbor’s facilities and operations is available at portofgraysharbor.com or satsop.com.

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