Reuse of Harbor Paper materials saves PUD over $460K in clean-up costs

In spite of its demise and demolition, Hoquiam’s Harbor Paper mill is benefiting several projects in Grays Harbor and surrounding counties.  In fulfilling its clean-up and demolition responsibilities, the Grays Harbor Public Utility District has worked with state, county and city offices to find cheaper alternatives to the costly landfill disposal of thousands of tons of sand ash, a bark/rock mixture and the concrete remains of the mills wastewater treatment facility.

When the PUD first examined the clean-up of the mill site, the estimated final cost to demolish the treatment facility and dispose of tens-of-thousands of tons of waste materials was over $10-million.  Working within the guidelines set by the Department of Ecology and Grays Harbor County Health Department, Special Projects Manager John Pellegrini was able to find less costly ways to responsibly utilize those materials, in most cases reusing the materials on current and future projects.

“This is an example of innovative thinking being used to work a problem and arrive at a solution benefiting multiple parties,” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward.  “Our Special Projects Manager was asked to value engineer every portion of our clean-up work at Harbor Paper.  As a result, we came up with beneficial uses for tons of materials that saved the PUD money and aided several other projects.”

The alternative methods of disposal include:

  • Working with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to have over 15,000 tons of sand ash declared a registered fertilizer.  As a registered fertilizer, the sand ash was marketed to over 30 customers for land application in Grays Harbor, Pacific, Mason, Lewis and Thurston counties.
  • Working with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Ecology, Mason County Environmental Health, and Grays Harbor Environmental Health to have 20,000 tons of bark/rock mixture deemed acceptable for use as organic material for the surface mine reclamation project in Mason County.
  • Partnering with the City of Aberdeen to utilize over 10,000 tons of recycled concrete aggregate from the wastewater treatment plant.  The processed concrete material will be hauled by contract drivers to locations in the City of Aberdeen for use as ballast on future projects.


The alternative uses of the Harbor Paper site materials will allow the PUD to save an estimated total of over $460,000 in landfill tipping fees.  The PUD will be responsible for the yet to be determined cost of transporting the materials from the mill site.


Under its agreement with Rayonier Properties, LLC, the PUD is obligated to clean and remove the facility’s water treatment system and remove solid byproducts including the basin sludge and piles of bark/rock mixture, sand ash, and boiler grate material.

Quinault Tribal Enterprises purchases controlling interest in Westport Marina tenant RPMM, LLC

While Quinault tribal fishermen have long used the moorage facilities at Washington’s largest fish landing port, Westport Marina, it is now home to one of Quinault Tribal Enterprises’ (QTE) newly acquired upland facilities, RPMM, LLC. The Port of Grays Harbor Commissioners approved the transfer of ownership as it related to a condition of the lease between tenant RPMM and the Port. This is the first upland lease between QTE and the Port.
The Port signed a lease with RPMM, LLC in 2005 for uplands at Firecracker Point. Over the years, RPMM improved the site to include docks, a hoist, an ice house, equipment storage and fueling services. This was the first lease requiring a tenant to provide access to a hoist and to post a tariff for using the facility. All terms and conditions of the RPMM lease will be assumed by QTE. QTE purchased the company to complement their tribal fishing enterprises and the seafood processing that currently occurs at Taholah.
Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp, joined by several other tribal and business leaders, expressed enthusiasm for future plans at their new facility on Firecracker Point. “The Port is a key partner for our future growth in Westport and we look forward to developing and strengthening our relationship to achieve our future goals”, stated President Fawn Sharp.

From left to right, Commissioner Jack Thompson, Quinault President Fawn Sharp, Commissioner Stan Pinnick, Myrna Figg, Larry Ralston, Pearl Capoeman Baller and Commissioner Chuck Caldwell pose for a photo after the Port Commission approved the transfer of controlling interest of RPMM to Quinault Tribal Enterprises for a lease at Firecracker Point in Westport.
From left to right, Commissioner Jack Thompson, Quinault President Fawn Sharp, Commissioner Stan Pinnick, Myrna Figg, Larry Ralston, Pearl Capoeman Baller and Commissioner Chuck Caldwell pose for a photo after the Port Commission approved the transfer of controlling interest of RPMM to Quinault Tribal Enterprises for a lease at Firecracker Point in Westport.

“We welcome the economic and employment opportunities this could mean for the region,” said Port Commissioner Chuck Caldwell. “The Port’s mission is to stimulate economic development, job creation and investment in facilities. Having Quinault Tribal Enterprises as an upland business partner will further our common goals. The Port looks forward to greater collaboration and involvement with the Tribe.”
Founded in 1911, the Port of Grays Harbor is one of Washington State’s oldest port districts and Washington’s only deep-water port located directly on the Pacific Ocean. The Port of Grays Harbor operates 4 deep-water marine terminals, the Westport Marina, Bowerman Airport and numerous industrial and business parks throughout the region. The addition of Satsop Business Park increases the Port’s properties to more than 1,000 acres of industrial properties and an additional 1,200 acres of sustainably managed forestland. Strategically located midway between Seattle and Portland and less than 1 ½ hours from open sea, the Port of Grays Harbor provides businesses a diverse portfolio of facilities. More information on the Port of Grays Harbor’s facilities and operations is available at

Westport Shipyard sold to Louisiana shipping company, no changes in staffing expected

The sun set on Westport Shipyard for the last time Thursday, Human Resources Manager Jennifer Swogger said this morning “We have been involved in an asset sale with the Chouest company [Edison Chouest Offshore] based out of Louisiana and that is effective today. So Westport Shipyard will now become Westport, LLC.” With locations in Port Angeles, Westport, and Hoquiam, Swogger added they do not expect changes in staffing at any of the sites. “All employees are being transferred to the new company so there will be no impact to our employees.”

General Manager Dave Hagiwara confirmed that the company has been purchased by Edison Chouest Offshore; “It’s a big day for us, and we look very much forward to partnering with the Chouest family, and continuing to be a vibrant part of this community.”

Now officially named Westport LLC, the company transferred their lease agreement with the Port of Grays Harbor for properties in Westport and Hoquiam at a special meeting of the Port Commissioners this morning.

At the height of a market that ebbs and flows with the tide, the company has employed nearly 1000. Since it’s founding in 1964, they have completed more than 120 yachts and many commercial vessels.

Salvage agreement saves Grays Harbor PUD $75,000

The Grays Harbor PUD says they continue to find ways to meet their responsibility to clean a portion of the Harbor Paper mill site with the smallest possible financial impact.

On Wednesday, the PUD commissioners authorized the district to enter into a contract with Hero Demolition Corporation for the demolition and removal of the buildings and equipment that make-up the facilities wastewater treatment plant.  The cost of the demolition will be covered by an agreement under which Hero Demolition will take possession of and remove all salvageable materials.

“The Grays Harbor PUD is committed to cleaning its share of the Harbor Paper site in a way that is responsible to both our customers and the environment,” said Commission President Russ Skolrood.  “This agreement meets that commitment.  We are working with a contractor who will not only demolish the wastewater facility, but will also remove the remaining material.  That lowers the cost by thousands of dollars.”

By allowing Hero Demolition to retain all the salvageable material, the PUD will save an estimated $75-thousand.  The demolition work will include the removal of all the wastewater treatment facilities buildings and structures, including the primary clarifier, three secondary clarifiers, solids pumping station building, secondary treatment pump house, and the aeration blower building.  The company will also remove all mechanical equipment, piping, electrical, roofing, siding, and wood materials.

Under its agreement with Rayonier Properties, LLC, the PUD is obligated to clean and remove the facility’s water treatment system and remove solid byproducts including piles of bark/rock mixture, sand ash and boiler grate material.  PUD staff is working to fulfill those responsibilities in a way that meets their obligations while having the least possible impact on the PUD’s customers.

New name, same product for TMI in Amanda Park, now Alta Forest Products LLC

TMI Forest Products and Welco Lumber Company USA are pleased to announce the formation of Alta Forest Products LLC, a partnership between two of the longest standing and premier Western Red Cedar manufacturers in the forest products industry.

Alta Forest Products will take over ownership and all operations of the assets of TMI Forest Products and Welco Lumber Company USA on May 1st, 2014 including the four manufacturing facilities located in Morton, WA, Shelton, WA, Amanda Park, WA and Naples, ID. This agreement will help secure employment to the local communities and strengthen the regional economy built on the growing lumber industry. Alta Forest Products will provide continued employment for over 400 individuals and have an annual production that will exceed 300,000,000 board feet of finished goods.

Alta Forest Products is in a position to provide our customers with the best products available through the most efficient manufacturing facilities and supply chain. Our team will utilize our unique synergies to effectively deliver the best renewable resource based building products in the most environmentally conscious manner.

Effective immediately, Alta Forest Products will be governed by a Board of Directors and managed by an executive group that will consist of Mike Pedersen as President and CEO, Jeffrey Cook as VP of Sales, Peter Stroble as COO and Brian Cox as CFO. This combined management team will continue to grow manufacturing and distribution networks on the longstanding practices of innovation, reliability and exceptional performance.

Grays Harbor PUD partners with City of Hoquiam to begin cleanup at Harbor Paper

The Grays Harbor PUD has taken a significant step to fulfill its responsibilities to clean and remove bi-products from the former Harbor Paper mill site.  In the next three weeks, over 28-million gallons of treated water will be pumped from holding basins at the Harbor Paper facility into the City of Hoquiam’s sewage treatment system.

In cooperation with the City of Hoquiam, 775 feet of eight-inch high density pipe is now connecting the facility’s secondary treatment pump house with the city’s sanitary sewer system.  Gradually, water from the facility’s aeration basin, primary clarifier and secondary clarifiers will be pumped into the city’s treatment system for disposal.

“We are grateful to the City of Hoquiam for their assistance in helping the PUD move forward with its responsibilities at the Harbor Paper site,” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward.  “We have a responsibility to clean our share of the site, but our first responsibility is to our ratepayers, to ensure that the project is completed at the lowest possible cost.  With the help of the city, we are meeting both obligations.”

The 28.25 million gallons of water represents the last water to be treated at the Harbor Paper facility.  Prior to the elimination of electrical services at the facility in September of 2013, the system was flushed over a seven-day period to remove any organic materials.  The water now held in the basin and clarifiers has been tested by the City of Hoquiam and found to be essentially free of contaminants.

The removal of water from the Harbor Paper site is the first significant step in the PUD’s clean-up of products accumulated over the past 20 years of paper production.  Under its agreement with Rayonier Properties, LLC, the PUD is obligated to clean and remove the facility’s water treatment system and remove solid bi-products including piles of bark/rock mixture, sand ash and  boiler grate material.  PUD staff is working to fulfill those responsibilities in a way that meets their obligations while having the least possible impact on the PUD’s customers.

Invenergy completes purchase of 620 Megawatt power plant in Grays Harbor

Invenergy Development Company, LLC announced the successful refinancing of its 620 MW Grays Harbor Energy Center (“Grays Harbor”), a natural gas-fueled power generation project in Elma, Washington.

The plant began commercial operations in 2008, approximately thirty miles west of Olympia, in Grays Harbor County. The facility consists of two gas-fired GE Frame 7FA combustion turbines and one GE steam turbine generator operating in combined-cycle mode with duct firing.

GE Energy Financial Services – through GE Capital Markets, Inc. acted as Book Runner and Joint Lead Arranger for the transaction. CoBank also served as Joint Lead Arranger. In addition, BNP Paribas and Union Bank are providing financing in connection with this transaction.

Invenergy Development Company LLC is a joint venture between Invenergy Thermal LLC, an affiliate of Invenergy LLC (“Invenergy”), and Stark Investments, a global alternative investment firm.

About Invenergy  –

Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own and operate large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation facilities in North America and Europe. Invenergy ( is committed to clean power alternatives and continued innovation in electricity generation. Invenergy’s home office is located in Chicago and it has regional development offices throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Europe.

Invenergy and its affiliated companies have developed more than 8,000 MW of clean energy projects that are in operation, in construction, or under contract, including 65 wind, solar, and natural gas power facilities.

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

County eager to lease Grays Harbor Raceway, seeking promoters

ELMA, Wash. – The Grays Harbor County Commissioners are hoping to open the gates on the Race track in Elma by early next year, but for right now, they’re under a red flag until they figure out what they own. County Commissioner Frank Gordon said last week “There’s some issues going on now about who owns which.” 
The commissioners canceled the contract with Great Northwest Promotions LLC in October, citing unpaid bills. Gordon said they have a more clear contract written up for future promoters. “So whoever we get in next we won’t be having this problem, but things are kind of on hold – their lawyer is talking to our lawyer.”
Meanwhile the county is looking for a promoter to lease the Grays Harbor Raceway “By the first of the year we’re hoping to get this leased to somebody so they can start working out the races for the summer.” Anyone interested should email contact information to for details.

Port of Grays Harbor purchases NewWood Corp assets at Satsop Business Park

In conjunction, the Commissioners also granted the Executive Director authority to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) with NewWood International, LLC, which outlines the terms of a lease and the potential purchase of the equipment and intellectual property. Not associated in any way with the prior tenant, NewWood International is an affiliate of Triventas, a private investment firm based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, which presented to the Port Commission in June as a potential operator of the facility.

“This approach is the quickest and best way to get the facility up and running, and creating jobs for the region,” commented Gary Nelson, Executive Director. “We are hopeful Triventas will be a good tenant for the facility and bring it into production again in the shortest amount of time possible. Their commitment to success will be a win for all parties.”

“Encouraging the research and development of sustainable products, and getting them to market, is a key component of the Grays Harbor Sustainable Industries Innovation Partnership Zone (GHIPZ) of which the Port is the lead,” explained Alissa Shay, Manager of Business Development at Satsop Business Park. “The opportunity to work with this new partner on this innovative product and see it through commercialization is right in line with the Commissioners’ goals for the GHIPZ. Our hope is that success at this facility will spin into success for other Grays Harbor businesses.”

A component of the Asset Purchase Agreement with Pivotal Solutions is that all equipment be free of liens. A benefit of this is that personal property taxes owed to Grays Harbor County will be paid from the proceeds of the sale.

Satsop Business Park, a facility of the Port of Grays Harbor, is less than 2 hours southwest of Seattle and 2 hours north of Portland. Located in scenic Grays Harbor County in Elma, Washington the 1,800 acre mixed-use business and industrial park is approximately 30 minutes from Olympia and the I-5 Corridor. A part of the Grays Harbor Innovation Partnership Zone, it is home to more than 30 businesses, offers 600 acres of developed, pad-ready land and buildings supported by super-sized infrastructure, surrounded by 1,200 acres of sustainable managed forestland.