Imperium expansion proposal

The Imperium Renewables (now REG) proposal sought to expand existing business activities including handling biodiesel and other liquids to be transported to and from the company's current Hoquiam facility. The expansion would allow handling, using, and storing these liquids.

What does Imperium want to do?

Imperium Terminal Services (Imperium) has an existing biodiesel refinery and transport facility at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash. The facility handles biodiesel, petroleum diesel, vegetable oil, and methanol which are transported to and from the facility by rail, truck, and vessels.

Imperium sought to expand its existing facility to handle, use, and store different types of fuels and liquids. The proposed expansion would entail building new liquid storage tanks, pipelines, and rail tracks where trains would be emptied or loaded. The firm's existing storage tanks would also be used to hold new liquids.

The company sought to handle and store an assortment of new bulk liquids at the proposed facility to be transported to and from the facility by rail and vessel including:

  • Crude oil
  • Vacuum gas, kerosene, jet and other fuel oils
  • Gasoline
  • Naphtha
  • Ethanol
  • Renewable jet and diesel fuels
  • Used cooking oil and animal fat

What did the proposed expansion include?

The proposed expansion including building new storage tanks and rail tracks on Imperium’s current property at the Port of Grays Harbor, Terminal 1. The added equipment would include pumps and pipelines so liquids could be moved on the site and to and from trains, ships, and barges.

Imperium wanted to:

  • Build up to nine storage tanks above ground, each capable of holding about 3.4 million gallons of liquid.
  • Be able to store all the liquids listed above in the existing eight large storage tanks. Each existing tank can hold 2 million gallons.
  • Extend the five existing rail spurs and add two new ones. This would increase the number of loading and unloading spots where rail cars could be emptied or loaded at the terminal from 64 to 105.
  • Install a marine vapor combustion unit to remove flammable air vapors when vessels are loaded with crude oil.
  • Build a system of pipelines to connect the area where rail cars are loaded or emptied with the storage tanks. Pipelines would also connect the storage tanks to Terminal 1 for loading or emptying vessels.
  • Build additional office space and support facilities.

If approved, when could the proposed project be constructed and become operational?

Construction would likely occur in two phases. In phase one, five storage tanks and everything else proposed for the expansion would be built. Phase one could start in 2016 and expected to take up to 18 months.

In phase two, four more storage tanks could be built. Phase two could take up to four months.

The proposed expansion would become operational when construction is done. This could be sometime in 2017.

Proposed Imperium expansion project metrics

Largest tank on the site:

  • 3.4 million gallons

Maximum amount of bulk liquids that could be stored on the site:

  • 48.2 million gallons

New storage capacity (proposed):

  • 30.2 million gallons

Existing storage capacity:

  • 18 million gallons

Maximum annual throughput of bulk liquids:

  • 1.3 billion gallons

What would Imperium do at the expanded facility?

Operations at Terminal 1

Biodiesel would continue to be produced and refined at the facility.

New liquids (including crude oil and those that would be used in biodiesel production) would be stored at the terminal in storage tanks. Up to nine new storage tanks are proposed to be built.

The largest tank on the site would hold 3.4 million gallons. The maximum amount of liquids that could be stored on the site is 48.2 million gallons.

Each year, the maximum amount of liquids that could be moved through the facility (throughput) is 1.3 billion gallons.

Trains, ships, and barges would come to the project site. They could arrive empty and be loaded at the terminal, or could arrive full and be unloaded at the terminal. The liquids would be moved around the facility using pipes and equipment.

Train transportation

Trains would bring rail cars to and from the project site. The trains would usually have 120 cars each, and would all carry the same type of liquid. Each train rail car could carry up to 30,000 gallons of liquid.

There could be up to two train trips a day (one full and one empty) to the terminal. This is about 14 train trips a week, or 730 trains a year (full and empty).

Crude oil is expected to come by rail from North Dakota and Montana or from Alberta. Other liquids could come from a variety of U.S. locations as well as from other countries.

Trains would use the Puget Sound & Pacific (PS&P) rail line to reach the project site. The PS&P rail line goes from Centralia to the Port of Grays Harbor. The trains would also travel through Washington along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) rail line.

Vessel transportation

Ships and barges that carry liquids would arrive at and depart from Terminal 1. Typical ships could carry up to 15 million gallons of liquid. Typical barges could carry 6.6 million gallons of liquid. There could be up to 200 vessels at the terminal annually.. This is about one vessel trip a day, 400 trips (empty and full) a year.