Goldman Sachs subsidiary sells stake in Bellingham coal port

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BELLINGHAM — A subsidiary of Goldman Sachs has sold its sizeable stake in the companies proposing to build a coal export terminal near Bellingham.

An official with the terminal developer, Bob Watters, told the Bellingham Herald that the ownership change won't affect the Gateway Pacific Terminal project and that "we are full speed ahead."

Watters is senior vice president with Seattle-based SSA Marine. The company is proposing a port terminal at Cherry Point to export about 48 million tons of coal each year to hungry-markets in Asia.

Before the stock transfer, Goldman Sachs had a 49 percent stake in the project.

Groups opposing the project hailed the announcement Tuesday, saying Goldman Sachs's exit was a sign that the Wall Street giant has lost faith in the economic viability of coal exports.