Official says port could increase Montana coal, grain exports
A week ago Monday, Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund joined two other Montana business leaders on a visit to Bellingham, Wash., to tour the site of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, a port from which Montana coal and other commodities could one day be shipped to Asia.
The intent of the trip was to demonstrate broad support in Montana for the development of the port. The Gateway Pacific Terminal will be a multi-commodity, dry bulk cargo-handling facility on nearly 1,500 acres at Cherry Point, just 17 miles south of the Canadian border. The shipping, stevedoring, and warehousing facility will be the largest on the West Coast. Supporters contend it would provide expanded shipping capacity to Asia for Montana commodities such as coal and grain.
Ostlund made the trip with the President of the Montana Chamber of Commerce Webb Brown, of Helena, and Vice President of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation Bruce Wright, of Bozeman.
“The construction of this terminal is about far more than just coal,” Brown told a number of reporters at a press conference in Bellingham. “This terminal is about getting Montana products to the global market place and expanding the opportunities that Montana businesses have to have to succeed.”
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Editorial board: Full review of coal exports? Not so much.
It must be nice to pick and choose your truth.
That’s what the state of Washington seems ready to do. State and local regulators there say they’ll look at a sweeping environmental review of a coastal terminal that would ship millions of tons of Wyoming and Montana coal to Asia. The review will examine global warming effects from burning the coal in Asia and the potential environmental costs of shipping the coal by rail to the coast, among other things.
Such a large-scale review isn’t really an effective way to determine environmental impacts. It’s a cynical, hypocritical way to kill the export terminal plans. We encourage officials in Washington to decide against the sweeping review, and we’re glad Wyoming lawmakers are considering allocating $500,000 for the state attorney general to fight the broader review. North Dakota, Montana and others already are fighting for a narrower review focus. Wyoming, as the top coal-producing U.S state, should join them.
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Coal shipments rise to 35 per cent of port exports
Port Metro Vancouver recorded nine per cent growth in overall cargo moved in 2013, with increases in coal, grain and container shipments leading the way.
Coal shipments – which have been controversial – climbed 17 per cent to 38.2 million tonnes, split between about 26 million tonnes of steelmaking coal and 12 million tonnes of thermal coal.
The port’s coal shipping capacity is expected to climb with a pending expansion in North Vancouver and, potentially a new terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks that has hit strong opposition.
Coal now makes up 35 per cent of port exports.
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Louisiana exports reach $63.1 billion in 2013
Louisiana’s worldwide merchandize exports reached $63.1 billion in 2013, an increase of .3 percent from 2012, according to a report by theWorld Trade Center of New Orleans.
The state’s chief export markets were China, Mexico and Canada, followed by Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore and Brazil. Louisiana ranked as one of the top exporting states in the country, surpassing Florida to place sixth overall.
The news comes after a banner year for U.S. exports, which set a new record of $15.8 trillion, a 2.14 percent rise from 2012.
Petroleum and coal products remained the top exported products in Louisiana, reaching $25.5 billion, a 9.7 percent rise from $23.2 billion the previous year. Agricultural and chemical products followed, posting earnings of $15.8 billion and $9.1 billion, respectively.
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Impact of Panama Canal delays on LNG and coal
Wood Mackenzie expects lengthy delays to the anticipated Panama Canal expansion to impact the coal, liquefied natural gas and petrochemical industries.
The research firm expects the recent cost overrun disputes surrounding the canal expansion to be resolved with limited disruption, due to the significance of the Panama Canal to global trade.
Significant disruptions will limit profitability for US LNG producers, create a tighter shipping market and affect the US Gulf Coast petrochemical industry. On the other hand, US coal producers are set to benefit considerably from the expansion once it is complete. Read more →