The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) has announced that it has entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) to acquire the former Georgia Pacific Mill site. The Port and the current owner, CDC Inc. of St. Louis, MO have negotiated the terms of the PSA with the goal of job creation on Oregon’s South Coast. The Port’s intent in this acquisition is to rehabilitate the site and return it to service, utilizing the facility for the movement of goods and commodities through maritime, rail, and trucking for both domestic and international markets. With the PSA fully executed, the Port and CDC Inc. will now enter into a 60-day due diligence period, with the intention to finalize the sale before the end of the year. Once the sale is finalized, the Port will conduct additional environmental, permitting, engineering, and design work prior to initiating construction.

With the closure of the Georgia Pacific Mill and impending closure of the Shutter Creek Correctional Institution, the region has seen a significant number of jobs lost. “With this facility back in service, it is anticipated that it will bring with it the addition of well-paying family wage jobs to the area including longshore labor, yard workers and cargo handlers, as well as additional rail line crews,” said John Burns, Port CEO. The site could be ready to move a limited amount of cargo initially following the conclusion of phase I construction as early as mid-2023 if not sooner.

The Port is currently working with multiple businesses with interest in moving products and commodities through the Port of Coos Bay to avoid congestion and its associated costs and inefficiencies found at other West Coast Ports. Through ownership of this facility, the Port will have access to a wharf, yard footprint, and rail service to facilitate regional economic development in a more effective manner - and with it the jobs and economic diversity that will help the region and State to thrive.

This project has been championed by both the State and Federal legislative delegations. Congressman Peter DeFazio fought to include funding in the amount of $4.5MM in the reconciliation bill. These funds will be utilized to build out rail infrastructure on site, as well as to conduct improvements to the wharf infrastructure. Senator Dick Anderson and Representative Boomer Wright were both instrumental in securing funding to acquire the property through the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund, both allocating $2MM respectively. The hard work and commitment of both our State and Federal Delegation to the long-term success of the region were instrumental in the success of this project.