LONGVIEW, Wash. – The first new export grain terminal built in the United States in 25 years held a grand opening celebration Monday.
EGT welcomed dignitaries to its $200-million facility to officially acknowledge its opening, although EGT has already exported more than a million tons of grain since the first ship docked there in February.
"It’s a huge deal for the port for the community and for the entire Columbia River region," Port of Longview Executive Director Ken O’Holleran said. "This is the single largest capital investment that’s ever been made in Longview. It really puts us back in the grain trade in a very big way."
EGT had a rocky start with local union longshoremen, before the facility ever started moving grain.
Longshormen argued they had a historical and legal right to work at EGT. After lots of protests, arrests and tension, the two sides reached an agreement for longshoremen to work at EGT.
"When they came to work, they came to work, and they’ve done a nice job since they came to work -- so we feel that’s behind us and we look forward to the future in supplying the world with food,” said EGT CEO Larry Clarke.
The EGT facility will double the ship traffic to the Port of Longview, and triple cargo volume. It will also add millions in revenue and tax receipts into the local economy.
Most of the grain moving through EGT and other Northwest ports is bound for growing markets in Asia.