Port of Newport plowing ahead despite International Terminal grant set back – exploring other options for financing
After losing a bid for a two million dollar grant from the state to further build out the Port of Newport’s International Terminal, the Newport Port Commission and Port Manager Kevin Greenwood have decided to take a fresh look at how to complete the terminal.
Greenwood told News Lincoln County that with the state looking askance at raw log exports, due to complaints from Oregon lumber processing mills, it’s time to re-evaluate the port’s strategy on how to proceed with the International Terminal project. Greenwood said the port could move ahead with more of a mix of domestic and foreign destinations for a wide variety of Oregon products – agriculture, pulp, recycled paper, finished lumber – especially cedar products – and still some log exports. Greenwood also indicated that the presumed terminal operator, Teevin Brothers, is just as committed as they’ve ever been, to stick with the port as it restructures its business plan.
Greenwood also mentioned that the port is exploring whether to eventually hire an outreach marketing manager to more closely connect the port with region-wide industries that truly need the port’s services to get their products to domestic and international markets.
As for finding the money to complete the construction of the terminal Greenwood says they’re looking at three options that could move the project forward, despite the recent set-back with the state. Greenwood says the first option would be to simply float a two million dollar loan. With that two million, the port has other promised funds available to complete the project. Option two would involve the port dipping into its NOAA reserve fund which has three million dollars in it. The third option would involve a low interest federal loan for one million dollars and another million from another source.
Greenwood and his port commission have their work cut out for them but Greenwood says he’s optimistic about the outcome.