The company behind the proposal for the nation’s largest rail-to-marine oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver has signaled it’s ready to accept a contract change approved by port commissioners April 15.
“We intend to accept the terms of the amendment adopted by the commissioners,” Vancouver Energy spokesman Jeff Hymas wrote in an email late Friday. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the port.”
The lease was amended due to a looming Aug. 1 permitting deadline that would have seen Vancouver Energy’s costs ramp up significantly. The amendment pushes that deadline to March 31 and increases the company’s monthly payments to the port from $50,000 to $100,000.
The port has yet to make the lease amendment available despite it being approved in a public meeting. It will be posted online once the company and commissioners all sign it, said a spokesperson.
Commissioner Brian Wolfe said other than due to port CEO Todd Coleman’s absence late last week, he did not know why the document was not being made available. The commissioners may get to sign the amendment following the regular meeting at 9:30 a.m. today at the port’s office, 3103 N.W. Lower River Road.
The terminal, first proposed in 2013, remains mired in the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council permitting process. The council will eventually make a recommendation on the project to the governor, who gets final say. An up-or-down — or conditional approval — may not come from Gov. Jay Inslee or a potential new governor until late this year or early in 2017.
The port and Vancouver Energy, a joint venture of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., are still able to terminate the lease without penalty should permits not come through or should unfavorable conditions be attached to the project. The lease amendment also added a 30-month window for litigation should the project — and the port’s valuable land — get tied up in court.