Longview port in talks for an oil refinery

It would proces 45,000 barrels a day; officials earlier denied talks

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The Port of Longview announced Tuesday that it is negotiating with Riverside Refining to bring an oil refinery to its site.

The refinery would process 45,000 barrels a day, of which 30,000 barrels would be crude oil, with the remainder being used cooking oil, according to a March 18 letter from Riverside to the State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council and the governor’s office. The council would be the permitting agency for the project. That volume would be about one-sixth of the expected volume that would come to a rail-to-ship oil transfer terminal proposed at the Port of Vancouver by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies that is now under review by the siting council.

In the letter, Riverside said it expects the refinery to generate about 1,600 barrels of liquid petroleum gas, 9,800 barrels of gasoline, 15,300 barrels of diesel/jet fuel and 4,900 barrels of kerosene each day. In its proposal, Riverside said all its finished products would be shipped by barge to local and regional markets along the West Coast.

The 47-acre site would receive shipment of one unit train every two or three days, Riverside said in its proposal.

Specific details — such as the estimated cost to build the refinery property, its precise location and the number of jobs the project would create — were not immediately available.

News of the proposed Longview refinery first surfaced in April when conservation groups released a proposed memorandum of understanding between the port and Riverside. At the time, port officials said they were not actively negotiating with the refinery company.

Port commissioners on Tuesday morning announced the port indeed will start negotiating with Riverside.

The announcement coincided with the release of the March 18 letter by the Portland-based conservation group Columbia Riverkeeper.