Port of Tacoma lands another big one…LNG plant boosts business, environment

Puget Sound Energy is planning to bring liquefied natural gas to the Port of Tacoma, along with jobs, environmental benefits, and an expected $80 million in revenue over the duration of a 25-year lease. Port commissioners approved the lease in late August.

The planned $275 million LNG facility – the first of its kind in Washington state – will provide a natural gas supply resource for PSE customers, and offer a clean and cost-effective fuel alternative for local companies.  

Among the first to benefit will be Tacoma's Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE), which is leading the U.S. movement to natural gas as a marine fuel. The shipping company's two trailerships are converting to LNG to adhere to stricter air quality standards in U.S. waters.  

"Serving the maritime transportation industry in addition to our existing customers helps PSE ensure that the investment is a prudent one for our customers," said Gary Nomensen, PSE government affairs and public policy consultant. "The location at the Port of Tacoma is ideal for both of these intended uses for the LNG facility."  

Tacoma and Pierce County residents will also reap the environmental benefits the LNG facility will bring to the region. Clean-burning natural gas will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Use of LNG also minimizes the potential for harmful fuel spills.  

The plant is expected to be completed and fully operational by late 2018. The project will create an estimated 150 construction jobs and 18 permanent positions. Economic activity generated by the project will create the need for more than 125 other permanent jobs in the region, as well as 300 during construction.