PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An ethanol plant on the Columbia River that was built with the help of $36 million in Oregon state loans and tax credits is now being used to store and ship crude oil from North Dakota. The plant's switch came with little public notice.
It was built at a cost of $200 million for Cascade Grain at the Port of St. Helens' Port Westward Industrial park near Clatskanie. The owner filed for bankruptcy in 2009, less than a year after startup. It produced little ethanol and is mothballed except for the storage tanks. Global Partners LP of Massachusetts bought the plant in February and renamed it the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery. It takes oil that arrives by train from North Dakota's Bakken oil field.