Company submits new plans for huge coal terminal in Longview

LONGVIEW — A company that withdrew plans last year for a Columbia River terminal to ship 5.7 million tons of coal a year to Asia has come back with plans for a $600 million terminal at Longview to ship 44 million tons a year.

Millennium Bulk Terminals plans to use the former Reynolds Metals aluminum site to load bulk ships for Asia with trainloads of coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming.

The Daily News in Longview reports it would be the largest such coal terminal in North America.

A different company, SSA Marine of Seattle, has proposed a bulk coal and cargo terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County. It potentially would be larger than the Millennium proposal, being able to ship up to 54 million tons.

The West Coast's largest current coal terminal, Westshore at Roberts Bank in British Columbia, has an annual export capacity of 29 million tons.

Millennium filed paperwork Thursday, Feb. 23, with the Cowlitz County planning department. It also needs permits from the Corps of Engineers and clean air agencies.

Millennium CEO Ken Miller says it expects to complete an environmental study within two years.

The Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point faces two or more years of local, state and federal environmental review before permits could be issued.

Both projects face strong opposition from their communities, but they also have local support because of the jobs they would bring.