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Ports & Terminals

Tidewater Awarded $3.1 Million For Renewable Fuels Hub

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced an award of $3,072,696 for Tidewater Terminal Company Inc. to expand the availability of biodiesel throughout central and eastern Washington and Oregon and northern Idaho.

Combined with more than $3 million in matching funds from Tidewater, the grant will make improvements at Tidewater’s strategically located Snake River Terminal in Pasco, Wash., to enable the receiving of neat biodiesel by railcar and its blending and offloading to trucks for local delivery.

“This federal investment will support Tidewater’s goal of establishing a regional distribution center to serve rural, agricultural communities in the Pacific Northwest with renewable energy resources,” said Todd Busch, Tidewater president and CEO. “I would like to thank USDA and our members of the Washington and Oregon congressional delegation for all their work to make this project a reality.”

Tidewater’s application for funding was aided by strong bipartisan backing from the Pacific Northwest congressional delegation, including Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.), and Reps. Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) and Cliff Bentz (Ore.), who each sent a letter of support to USDA.

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The project will support Washington and Oregon’s emissions reductions goals by helping meet a projected 150 percent increase in biodiesel demand. At the beginning of 2023, the state of Washington implemented its Clean Fuel Standard program, which seeks to cut statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 4.3 million metric tons over the next 15 years.

Likewise, Oregon recently expanded its Clean Fuels Program with the goal of making the state’s transportation fuel supplies 20 percent cleaner by 2030 and 37 percent cleaner by 2035. By utilizing a broad, expanding range of feedstocks including soybean oil, animal fats and used cooking oil, biodiesel can reduce net carbon emissions by as much as 78 percent compared to petroleum-based fuels.

Tidewater’s Snake River Terminal is the only multimodal facility in the area with access to rail, barge and pipeline. Awarded through the USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, improvements will provide the capacity to blend more than 2 million gallons of biodiesel per month and meet the energy needs of area farmers during peak harvest season. Overall, the project is estimated to reduce annual emissions by 212 million pounds of CO2.

Founded in 1932, Tidewater Transportation & Terminals Inc. is a diversified marine transportation and terminal company headquartered in Vancouver, Wash. The largest inland barge company west of the Mississippi River, Tidewater provides barge service from the mouth of the Columbia River at Astoria, Ore., along the entire 465-mile navigable length of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, terminating at Lewiston, Idaho. In addition, Tidewater operates a network of five strategically located multi-commodity marine terminals capable of handling a wide range of cargos and intermodal connections.