Coos Bay, Ore., port talking to coal shipper

COOS BAY, Ore. — The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is talking to a company interested in shipping coal through port facilities.

The World newspaper reports that the formal agreement to negotiate came up at the port commission's regular meeting Thursday night.

The name of the company and details about how much coal would be involved were not disclosed. Railroad service was recently restored to the Coos Bay area.

SSA Marine of Seattle has proposed the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Whatcom County's Cherry Point to export large amounts of coal and perhaps other bulk cargoes — a project that would be served by coal trains passing through Bellingham en route from the Rocky Mountains to the sea. That proposal is in the preliminary stage of a multi-year environmental study and permitting process.

Another proposal to ship millions of tons of coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia by way of the Columbia River port of Longview has been challenged by environmentalists.

Currently, the only West Coast coal export terminal is in British Columbia.