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Vancouver barge company lands Columbia River coal transport deal

November 26, 2013 J

A company that plans to ship coal down the Columbia River has signed a letter of intent with Tidewater Barge Lines of Vancouver for transportation service.

Tidewater would operate the tugs and barges needed to move the coal 218 miles from the Port of Morrow at Boardman to a terminal at Port Westward near Clatskanie. Tidewater officials say they expect to add about 50 employees to handle the additional business.

Ambre Energy has applied for permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon Department of State Lands and the Department of Environmental Quality. Company officials say they hope to start operating the terminal in the beginning of 2015.

The Ambre barge project is the smallest of three proposals to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia. The company plans to export 8 million tons of coal annually.

The other projects would use trains to deliver coal to the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal west of Longview and the proposed Gateway Pacific terminal at Cherry Point near Bellingham.

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