The Port of Grays Harbor and Pasha Automotive Services have entered into a new long-term pact to increase shipments of vehicles through Terminal 4 for the next 20 years in an agreement authorized by Port commissioners at their monthly meeting Tuesday.
The terminal operator agreement is intended to be “the next step in creating a state-of-the-art automotive facility” for Pasha and increasing the volume of vehicles imported and exported through Grays Harbor, said Port attorney Art Blauvelt.
Port Executive Director Gary Nelson noted the first vessel call for Pasha shipments was in January 2009.
“We had what we thought would be a temporary terminal operator agreement that survived about three years as we evolved from one or two or three ships in the first year to what we started in 2010,” Nelson said.
The vehicles are shipped to China and Pacific Rim markets.
In 2009 the first vessel carried a shipment of 3,194 Kia vehicles. The company then shipped 21,162 Chryslers in 2010.
Earlier in 2012, Pasha passed a milestone in shipping its 100,000th vehicle from the Port for Chrysler.
“It was critical for both parties to increase the commitment, mainly financially, for the future,” Nelson said.
The Port has committed to developing Terminal 4, he added, to enhance the shipments of autos as a so-called omni-terminal, which involves a terminal designed to accommodate a multitude of commodities other than standard ocean-going containers.
The Port recently completed a major repaving project to assist Pasha’s growing automobile exporting business, with more than 65,000 vehicles already shipped through the Port this year.
Marc Horton, director of environmental and engineering services for the Port, said the total project cost of the paving was about $2 million, including site surveys, environmental permitting, grading and stormwater design, site preparation and the paving itself ($1.7 million of the cost), conducted by Lakeside Industries after a bidding process.
The costs were paid for out of the Port’s capital budget. “The project looks good and it sure cleaned up the area,” Port Commissioner Stan Pinnick said.
The new terminal operator agreement will be in place for the next 20 years, with an option to extend it another five years if needed, Blauvelt said.
It gives Pasha preferential use of 40 acres of Port property near Terminal 4, with an option to expand to up to 79 acres based on the volume of exports and imports, Blauvelt said.
The agreement also establishes agreed rates for dockage, warf fees, storage and other uses, and requires Pasha to also make some improvements along with the Port’s expenses in improving the site.
The increase in auto exports is one of the reasons the Port’s Marine Terminals Division is projecting an increase in operating revenues from $12.2 million in 2011 to $21.3 million estimated for 2013.
By signing the agreement “the Port will be able to continue to benefit from this partnership and this increased use of Terminal 4,” Blauvelt said.
Angelo Bruscas, a Daily World writer, can be reached at 537-3916, or by email at email@example.com