Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Planned Crude-by-Rail Terminal In Tacoma Scrapped

Walter Siegmund

A fuel terminal developer has unexpectedly scrapped a project at the Port of Tacoma that was intended to receive crude oil by rail.

Shipping crude from oil fields on the Great Plains has become increasingly controversial since a deadly runaway train accident in Quebec earlier this summer. But the reasons for this cancellation are murky.

At the beginning of this year, fuel handler Targa Sound Terminal announced plans for a $150 million dollar tank farm and rail yard. Targa said its terminal expansion could receive North Dakota crude and other liquid fuels for transfer to seagoing tankers and barges.

The lease with the Port of Tacoma included an escape clause in the event of an unfavorable feasibility study. And that's what happened.

A letter from Targa Sound Terminal president Troy Goodman to the port says, "In spite of the tremendous support we received and our best efforts, we regret that we have been unable to identify an economical path forward for our project."

Messages seeking further explanation from the company were not immediately returned.

The now-cancelled Tacoma terminal was among a dozen crude-by-rail projects in the Northwest, either planned or in operation.

Port of Tacoma spokeswoman Tara Mattina wrote in an email that its site "is highly marketable, and we are committed to putting it back into productive use."

On the Web:

Port of Tacoma
Targa Sound Terminal

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.