Imperium Renewables returns to Umpqua Bank for expansion capitol

Imperium Renewables, Inc., a leader in next-generation biofuels, announced a new lending agreement with Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (UMPQ), that will provide Imperium with an additional $10 million in working capital to fuel its growth.

This modification of a 2012 agreement increases Imperium’s working capital from Umpqua to $20 million while maintaining the company’s revolving line of credit with the bank.

“Umpqua Bank’s knowledgeable team continues to find smart, flexible financing solutions that Imperium needs,” said John Plaza, president and CEO of Imperium Renewables. “These resources will help us continue to grow and diversify our operations in biodiesel production and sales.”

Seattle-based Imperium Renewables develops proprietary technology and processes to produce biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel whose global demand is growing due to its environmental benefits, including lower carbon dioxide emissions. Its Imperium Grays Harbor facility can produce up to 100 million gallons of biodiesel annually. The additional working capital supplied by Umpqua will position Imperium to expand production and sales.

“Imperium Renewables is a proven leader in the industry, and is uniquely poised for further growth,” said Danielle Burd, Umpqua Bank’s executive vice president and director of client relations. “We’re pleased to expand this partnership – and to provide access to capital that allows them to diversify and grow.”

Imperium is committed to producing the highest-quality biodiesel, using sustainable and environmentally sound feedstocks. In lending to Imperium, Umpqua Bank demonstrates its commitment to help grow the region’s economy by finding financial solutions for local businesses.

About Imperium Renewables

Imperium Renewables is a global leader in next-generation biofuel production. Founded in 2004, the company is driven by a single goal – to fundamentally change the way we fuel transportation by developing and producing clean, renewable and sustainable alternative fuels. Imperium operates one of the nation’s largest BQ-9000®-certified biodiesel facilities, Imperium Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash.

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank , headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek, and named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” eight years in a row.

Public invited to comment on Oil Spill Contingency Plan for Imperium Renewables

Interested public, local and tribal governments are invited to review and comment on required 5 year updates to industry oil spill plans.  These updates are required by the state’s oil spill planning regulations.

The Washington Department of Ecology’s

Washington Administration Code (WAC) 173-182 requires oil handling facilities, pipelines and vessels to have a state-approved oil spill contingency plan that ensures their ability to respond to major oil spills.

The following plan is now available for public review:

Imperium Renewables

Review starts: August 12, 2014

Review Ends: September 12, 2014 at the close of business (5 p.m.)

Provide comments by email to sorr461@ecy.wa.gov or by regular mail.

Find more information about how to view the plans and where to send your comments, please visit the Spills webpage at:  http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/cplan/cplans.html

If you want to follow the approval process for each plan,click here. To track completed contingency plan reviews, click here.

The department will consider all comments and complete the review no later than 30 days after the close of the public review period.

Proposed Hospital District #2 meeting tonight in Aberdeen, and later tonight in Brady

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring a debate tonight on the formation of a second public hospital district at the Rotary Log Pavillion in Aberdeen. It starts at 6, but video statements from commissioner candidates of the proposed district’s board will begin at 5:30.

News Director for Jodesha Broadcasting Dave Haviland will be moderating, and on the proponents side we’ll have Dr. Ed Brewster president of Grays Harbor College, Lisa Smith with Imperium Renewables, Patrick Wadsworth from the GH Democrats and Dr. Anna Marie Wong. On the opponent-side we’ll have Aberdeen councilman Alan Richrod, Local Republican Jim Walsh, Claudia Woodward -Rice, and John Farra.

Hospital Administrators will be on hand to answer questions until around 6:30 when a couple will head out to a second meeting hosted by Fire District #2 on the topic that is being held at Station 32 in Brady tonight at 7.

The hospital district, and it’s board members, are on the primary election ballots – which you should have received by now, with votes being tallied on Aug. 5th.

The Vote

The Grays Harbor County Elections Department reports that the Commissioners on your ballot with the most votes from their district will become the new district’s Commissioners for the next 6 years. There will be no vote to determine commissioners in the November General election – regardless of the number of candidates in the district.

Public scoping begins on two proposals to export crude by rail

Over 120 attended the first of two public meetings last night to begin to shape Environmental Impact Statements being prepared for two companies that seek to export crude oil from Grays Harbor ports. Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp was one of the first to provide comment. “Quinault opposes oil in Grays Harbor. Fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants in Grays Harbor are central to the lives and culture of Quinault people. We oppose the sacrifice of our lives and culture for a few jobs.”
Government and business leaders politely waited alongside concerned citizens from throughout the county, as they filed into a chair at the front of the Commons area at Hoquiam High School and gave their 2 minute statements. Retired teacher Wes Brosnan noted “This track is in such terrible condition that it could be sabotaged by a clever 12 year old.”
Concerns ranged from catastrophic failure of the cars, or rail system, to increased overall traffic and emergency responses. Hoquiam business owner Garret Phillips added “I’m deeply concerned about the impacts of the proposed crude oil trains on traffic congestion in every community along the rail corridor, and the associated impacts to our economy, our health, and our public services.”
So where do the comments go from there? Brendan McFarland with the Department of Ecology says “We take the comments and start studying them, the next public phase is when we put out a draft Environmental Impact Statement and the public gets a chance to comment on that.
From there the Department of Ecology will make separate determinations on whether to permit the new, or increased petroleum exports at two sites in Hoquiam.
The second, and final scoping meeting for this phase will be held April 29th in Centralia High School Commons, 813 Eshom Road. You can submit your comments without getting in front of a big crowd, either online or by mail, for details visit http://ecy.wa.gov
Public comment is open through May 27th to determine what should be studied in Impact Statements being prepared for Westway Terminal Company and Imperium Renewables in Hoquiam. Though the proposals are separate, the agencies are holding a joint scoping comment period. All comments received will be considered for both proposals.

Permits filed for third Oil-by-rail terminal at Port of Grays Harbor

SEATTLE – U.S. Development Group is seeking permits to build an oil terminal on the Washington coast that could handle about 45,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

The $80 million proposal at the Port of Grays Harbor is one of several in Washington that together would bring millions of barrels of oil by train from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.

About 17 million barrels of oil were shipped across Washington state last year, mostly to refineries in Anacortes and Cherry Point near Bellingham. That number is expected to triple this year, according to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who chaired a congressional hearing Wednesday on oil shipments by train.

“We need to have the right policies in place to prevent accidents and respond to emergencies when they do happen,” Murray said at the hearing.

Charla Skaggs, a spokeswoman for U.S. Development, said the company has a proven safety record and is committed to safety on the project at Grays Harbor.

Texas-based U.S. Development has developed more than a dozen bulk liquid facilities in the U.S., and “they have an exemplary safety record,” Skaggs said. “They’ve operated very safe facilities for years, and that’s their commitment at Grays Harbor.”

The Grays Harbor Rail Terminal project would bring about one unit train to the facility every two days. A unit train typically has 120 rail cars, and each car can hold about 28,000 gallons.

The company filed permit applications Monday with the city of Hoquiam, Skaggs said. The state Department of Ecology and the city are expected to begin an environmental review process.

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Kristen Boyles, an attorney with Earthjustice representing the Quinault Indian Nation, which is worried about the impacts of oil shipment and storage.

She said oil would be stored in a fragile shoreline area, and billions of barrels of oil would travel through the Grays Harbor estuary, a thriving area for tribal and commercial fishing.

The Grays Harbor Rail Terminal is the third crude-by-rail facility proposed at the Port of Grays Harbor.

The environmental review process for two other projects, by Westway Terminal Co. and Imperium Renewables, began this month.

Environmental reviews begin for two proposed expansion projects at Port of Grays Harbor

HOQUIAM – Environmental reviews begin next week for two separate proposals in Hoquiam to expand facilities and increase capacity to receive, store and ship bulk liquids like biofuels and crude oil.

From April 10 through May 27, the state Department of Ecology and the city of Hoquiam invite the public to comment on what should be studied in environmental impact statements (EISs) being prepared for proposals submitted by Westway Terminal Company  and Imperium Renewables.

An EIS is a document that provides information about the effects of a proposal. It is neither a decision nor a permit. The EISs compile information that helps inform future decisions made by local and state permitting agencies. Permit decisions cannot be made until after the environmental reviews are complete.

Both proposals are at the first step in the EIS process – the scoping period. The purpose of scoping is to gather input on what should be studied in the EIS. After considering comments received during scoping, the agencies will decide what to study in the EISs. Ecology and Hoquiam have already identified certain study areas that will be noted in their determinations of significance, to be published on April 10 and available via Ecology’s website

Scoping comments may be shared orally at scoping meetings, submitted in writing via standard mail or via an electronic comment form. The mailing address is Westway and Imperium Renewables Expansion Projects, 710 Second Avenue, Suite 550, Seattle, WA 98104.

Two public meetings with open house sessions are scheduled. No formal presentation will occur, so people may arrive and leave as they choose during the meetings. Meetings are 5 to 9 p.m., with public comment beginning at 6 p.m.

  • April 24: Hoquiam High School Commons, 501 W. Emerson Ave.
  • April 29: Centralia High School Commons, 813 Eshom Road.

 

Though the proposals are separate, the agencies are holding a joint scoping comment period. All comments received will be considered for the environmental reviews for both proposals. Public comments submitted regarding these proposals in earlier environmental reviews also will be considered. Information about the environmental review and the project proposals is available on Ecology’s website.

Hoquiam council packed with public comment, as city moves forward with EIS

Concerned citizens packed the city council chambers in Hoquiam last night, most wearing red, all opposed to any action by the council on two efforts to export Crude by Rail from Grays Harbor.
As Judy Shirdal said “I am against Crude by Rail, and Crude oil storage in our community. If these projects pass, and are implemented, it could forever change the health and safety of our towns.”
The comments centered around hazards that crude-by-rail could bring, as Karoonuh Johnson said “Leadership has to accept that if we have a global economy, we also have a global environment.”
East County resident Radley Young added that the council’s actions affect so many more cities than just Hoquiam. “There are a tremendous amount of small communities that are bisected by the railroad, and they’ve been like that for a long time. But they’ve never had to deal with such a potential threat.”
As we reported earlier this month, City Administrator Brian Shay told Port of Grays Harbor Commissioners “With any luck 30 days from now we will be formally launching the EIS, and done 12 months from now.
City council last night adopted the report by staff recommending a consultant begin the Environmental Impact Statement process for Westway Terminals and Imperium Renewables, two companies that would like to expand export operations in Hoquiam.

Hoquiam to begin Draft Environment Impact Statement for crude by rail projects

The city of Hoquiam is moving forward on drafting an Environmental Impact Statement for two of three companies that want to export crude oil from Grays Harbor. “We’ve selected our top consultant, ICF Jones & Stokes.” City Administrator Brian Shay told the Port Commissioners last week that they are negotiating a contract with the firm now. “With any luck 30 days from now we will be formally launching the EIS, and done 12 months from now.
The consultant, ICF Jones & Stokes is currently drafting an EIS for Millennium Bulk Terminals Project to export coal from Longview, Shay added “We hope to identify all of the issues that the Shoreline’s Board and the appellants identified in the appeals when we make our public notice on the scoping. We’re going to look at this long list of issues.
Shay said Westway Terminals and Imperium Renewables will reimburse the city for costs of the EIS review “I think the reason the companies have chosen to do an EIS is that they hope it will address all of the issues that were outlined by the Shorelines Board and that it won’t end up in appeal again.
Projects for both companies were put on hold last year when the Shoreline’s Hearings Board remanded the permits for further review.

Imperium Renewables and Westway team up to get paperwork moving on expansion plans

Imperium Renewables and Westway have sent a joint letter today asking the City of Hoquiam and the state Department of Ecology to begin developing environmental impact statements (EIS) on the companies’ terminal expansion projects at the Port of Grays Harbor.

Although both companies maintain they have satisfied all relevant environmental protection laws during their pursuit of permits for the projects, they acknowledge there is strong interest in the broader issue of shipping crude oil by rail.

“We want to provide ample opportunity for airing and responding to any concerns regarding the terminal expansions and the robust EIS process provides that opportunity,” Imperium Renewables CEO John Plaza said. “These are safe, well-designed facilities that are similar to many other facilities that are safely operating in Washington.”

“We remain committed to Grays Harbor and this project,” added Gene McClain,  CEO of Westway Group LLC. “We’re here to invest in the community and make sure we do our part which includes addressing the concerns and questions raised by our neighbors in this new permit application.”

The City and Ecology had issued both companies permits allowing them to move forward last year, but in November, the Shoreline Hearings Board cancelled its hearing on the permits and issued an order requiring more information about the cumulative impacts of increased rail and marine traffic associated with the terminal expansions.

Both companies were already in the process of gathering data on those issues, and that research will contribute to the development of the environmental impact statement. 

Proposed expansions at the Port of Grays Harbor by Westway and Imperium are projected to result in $143.3 million in direct and indirect investment during the year-long construction period, according to a study released by Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. The study also projected that the companies will spend $97.8 million in their first full year of operation. This will result in an additional $18.8 million in indirect economic output in Grays Harbor County.

Combined, these projects will create 148 direct fulltime family-wage jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs for the community and millions more in annual income.

“These kinds of investments are what make the Harbor an attractive place for other businesses looking to locate here,” explained Tim Gibbs, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. “We are excited that Westway and Imperium is working with our community to grow these opportunities.”

Both companies anticipate the EIS process will take approximately one year allowing for construction to begin in 2015. Construction will take approximately 12 months.

Port of Grays Harbor ariel view

Continue reading Imperium Renewables and Westway team up to get paperwork moving on expansion plans

Imperium Renewables and Pacific Coast Canola sign contract for biofuel supply

HOQUIAM, Wash. –Imperium Renewables, one of the largest biodiesel manufacturers in the United States, has reached an agreement with Pacific Coast Canola (PCC) to purchaseregionally sourcedcanola oil for biodiesel production.
Pacific Coast Canola’s canola crushing plant in Warden, Wash., is the largest in the West. It began commercial operation in August of 2013 and has the capacity to produce at approximately 137,000 metric tons, or 40,000,000 gallons, of oil annually.
“This milestone agreement with PCC will help us fully realize the potential of renewable biofuels in Washington,” said Imperium CEO John Plaza.  “Canola grown by Pacific Northwest farmers will be processed by PCC and that oil will be made into biodiesel by Imperium at our Hoquiam refinery. This advanced biofuel will be shipped to consumers in the region and around the world. We have been pursuing this goal since 2004 and we are very excited to be working with PCC to see this vision through.”
The agreement will provide a reliable and diversified market for a portion of PCC’s production capacity, while supplying regionally sourced canola oil for Imperium. Locally sourced canola oil will help the biofuels company produce fuels that meet low-carbon fuel standards required by law in California and British Columbia, as well as biodiesel market demands in Oregon and Washington and the global marketplace. Low-carbon fuel standards mandate not only that fuel be refined from less carbon heavy materials such as petroleum, but also take into account the carbon emitted during the growth, production, distribution and use of those fuels.
“We are proud to partner with Imperium, one of our local Washington state customers benefitting from our close proximity,” said Matt Upmeyer, Chief Operations Officer of PCC. “The Imperium contract is another big step as we bring our facility to full capacity, which is great news for local canola farmers.”
About Imperium Renewables
Imperium Renewables is a global leader in next-generation biofuel production in the US. Founded in 2004, the company continues to focus on providing safe domestic fuel supplies for the marketplace and providing family wage jobs in Washington State. Imperium Renewables operates one of the nation’s largest BQ-9000 certified biodiesel facilities, Imperium Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash., which is capable of producing up to 100 million gallons per year. More information is available at www.imperiumrenewables.com.
About Pacific Coast Canola
Pacific Coast Canola operates the first and only commercial scale canola crushing operation west of the Rocky Mountains in Warden, Wash., which is well-positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on the West Coast of the United States. Pacific Coast Canola is 84 percent owned by Legumex Walker Inc.