New manufacturing plant will create 1,000 construction jobs and 200 permanent jobs
Kalama (April 10, 2014) — The Port of Kalama commission today voted to approve a lease agreement with NW Innovation Works to build and operate a manufacturing plant on port property that would produce methanol from natural gas after receiving environmental and regulatory approvals.
The lease agreement calls for a two year contingency period allowing the Port and NW Innovation Works to conduct in depth analysis of environmental, safety and feasibility issues. After all contingencies have been satisfied, a 30 year lease for construction and operations would commence.
“This is a landmark opportunity for the Port and our community. This facility will create 1,000 jobs during construction and 200 permanent family wage jobs during operations,” said Port of Kalama commission president Alan Basso. “We’re excited to achieve this milestone. But NW Innovation Works still has more work to do evaluating the site and we’ll be talking with lots of people – city, county, school and fire district officials – and with citizens.”
“I'm very happy that the port and NW Innovation Works have reached this milestone,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “As the global transition to a clean energy economy accelerates, so does our state's ability to attract new, family wage jobs throughout Washington State. I have instructed my Department of Commerce to continue working with the Port of Kalama and the company on this opportunity."
The methanol produced in Kalama will be exported to Asia, including Dalian, China, where it will be used as feedstock to produce olefin, a common ingredient in the manufacturing of everyday products such as cell phone covers. Currently in China, coal is used to produce methanol. Natural gas offers a cleaner, more environmentally sustainable way to manufacture these everyday products. NW Innovation Works has a number of international partners, including the Chinese Academy of Science, a ministry-level agency of the Chinese government focused on research and technology. It’s also backed by H&Q Asia Pacific, a Silicon Valley private equity firm with strong ties with Intel, IBM and Starbucks.
“Our partnership with the Port of Kalama demonstrates that we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a thriving economy,” said Simon Zhang, CEO of NW Innovation Works. “We can have both. This project has the potential to transform the local economy while working to reduce China’s dependence on coal. We want to thank the Governor for his support of a project that is a win for the local economy and the global environment."”
"We are delighted to see this unique opportunity moving forward, after having helped attract this investment into our state and bring key partners together here and through our trade mission in China last fall,” said Brian Bonlender, Washington State Commerce Director.
The upcoming environmental and regulatory approval processes will include numerous opportunities for community input. All of the commission’s meetings are public and the Port will publicize points in the process when issues related to the proposal will be under consideration.
“NW Innovation Works is honored to partner with the Port of Kalama on this development, and we are grateful for their leadership and support as we move toward permitting, construction, and eventual operation of the plant,” said Murray “Vee” Godley, President. “We look forward to working together with the port and the community of Kalama to generate a brighter economic future for the region.” Additional information about the NW Innovation Works proposal can be found at: http://nwinnovationworks.com/
About Port of Kalama – Where rail and water meet
The Port of Kalama is located in Southwest Washington on the Columbia River and immediately off of Interstate Highway 5. The port exists to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities. Port of Kalama's industrial area includes five miles of riverfront property adjacent to the 43' federally-maintained deep draft navigation channel of the Columbia River. The Port is served by the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. There are over 20 industries located at the Port of Kalama, employing over 830 people. Port of Kalama offers all the superior facilities businesses need to thrive, and an unsurpassed quality of life. The port offers shovel ready sites, a new Industrial Park, state of the art Marine Terminals and transportation accessibility to rail and highway all just a 30 minute drive to the Portland International Airport. Port of Kalama also offers high-bandwidth communications, with dual access fiber-optic service to Seattle and Portland.