Ethanol business with local ties bought for $95 million

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

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A sprawling crude oil and ethanol facility with ties to Clark County businesses has been acquired for $95 million by a corporation that says the transaction will enable it to serve energy markets on the West Coast.

Global Partners LP, a publicly traded company based in Waltham, Mass., said Tuesday it expects to complete its purchase of Cascade Kelly Holdings LLC, which encompasses energy infrastructure and other assets, by the end of March.

Those assets include the largest ethanol plant on the West Coast, a deepwater marine terminal, 200,000 barrels of storage capacity, a 1,200-foot dock and a rail transloading operation serviced by BNSF Railway, Global Partners said in a news release.

The facilities purchased by Global Partners are located along the Columbia River in Clatskanie, Ore., and are situated on land leased under a long-term agreement from the Port of St. Helens, according to the news release.

Ownership of facilities at the site has evolved. Cascade Kelly Holdings, a partnership with offices in Longview and Vancouver, built the ethanol plant in Clatskanie for Vancouver-based Cascade Grain Products.

Cascade Kelly Holdings later acquired the Cascade Grain ethanol plant out of bankruptcy.

Now, under the deal announced by Global Partners, the plant -- along with other facilities -- is under new ownership.

Adding the infrastructure to its capabilities will "increase our capability to transport crude from the U.S. and Canadian mid-continent and extend our virtual pipeline to the West," Eric Slifka, president and CEO of Global Partners, said in the news release.

Global Partners says it owns, control or has access to one of the largest terminal networks of refined petroleum products and renewable fuels in the Northeast.

The company's stock, which trades as GLP, closed up $1.02 Tuesday, at $32.97 per share. The company's shares have traded between $20.01 and $32.18 in the past 52 weeks.