Although Teevin Brothers, Hancock Timber and TPT say they are committed to export raw logs to China from Newport’s International Terminal, they’re not going to build the multi-million dollar log handling facility until the terminal can handle log ships with 35 foot drafts.
In a letter to the Port of Newport, TPT President Jerry Ashby told port commissioners that the delay in achieving adequate channel and dockside depths has caused them to step back and wait until it happens. Based on earlier discussions it likely means that Teevin’s log handling yard on McLean Point may not get underway until well into next year. Ashby claimed that a slow down in the raw log market was not a factor in their decision. He said their commitment is firm to export logs from Newport to the Orient.
Part of the delay in getting the deeper dredging done was initially due to the Port of Newport not being able to get a biological impact assessment issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service. NMFS claims it’s badly backlogged on work.
In the meantime, the port has been trying to identify and secure environmentally productive wetlands to offset the loss of river bottom habitat that will be removed by the dredging.