Still no one to take over NewWood operation


Four months after purchasing the patents and equipment of the NewWood composites company at the Satsop Business Park, and the Port of Grays Harbor still hasn’t been able to find a buyer.

Port commissioners had hoped to find a turn-key investor that would eventually buy it all off the hands of the Port and save the equipment from demolition. That was the option on the table by a court-appointed receiver to try and recover as much money as possible for the banks that were owed money when the old NewWood went into foreclosure.

Now, Port Executive Director Gary Nelson said that the Port is looking at liquidating the assets. However, he still has hopes that a buyer can be found.

Operating in a 275,000-square-foot facility, the company turned wood waste and recycled plastic into a composite wood used for fencing, home siding, small buildings, bins, crates and lawn and garden edging, among many other uses. As many as 150 people worked there in 2010.

Pennsylvania-based Triventas had been in talks to serve as the turn-key operator for the facility, with talks of hiring 20 to 25 people, but the company backed out, Nelson told The Vidette following a presentation of the Port’s assets at an Elma City Council meeting last week.

Triventas had created an affiliate called NewWood International LLC (not affiliated with the old owners with a similar name) with talk of renting the facility from the Port and making payment plans to eventually buy the equipment and patents. But Triventas didn’t want to directly purchase anything, turning to the Port to buy it all. Ultimately, the company walked away.

Nelson said that a second company also showed interest, but then declined the deal.

The Port of Grays Harbor is the fourth owner of NewWood in less than a decade — none of which has been able to successfully find a niche market and be successful. The Port already owned the building at the Satsop Building Park and purchased the equipment and two patents for $1.3 million, less than half of the appraised value. The Port took a loan out to for the purchase.

Nelson previously told the commissioners that the equipment is valued at $2 million to $3.5 million should a forced liquidation happen. The Grays Harbor Assessor’s Office valued the equipment at more than $3.5 million when it assessed the equipment in 2013.

 

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