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Charleston Ice Plant Prepares for Soft Opening Saturday

For Immediate Release: September 11, 2020

The Port received its certificate of occupancy yesterday afternoon, as well as confirmation that the Ice Plant is ready to open and begin serving customers starting Saturday, September 12th.  Service will be limited initially to commercial fishing vessels as crews are awaiting the arrival of additional components for the service delivery system to accommodate smaller vessels.  There will be no on dock truck service until the dock structure is fully completed.  It is estimated that the plant will be fully operational within the next two to three weeks. 

Over a seven-month period, the Port has worked with contracted crews and community stakeholders to build the new facility.  Following a catastrophic fire in late December of 2019, the Port developed plans for a new facility guided by the priorities expressed by the local commercial fishing industry.  It was determined that the availability of flake ice in the Charleston Marina was critical to sustaining and maintaining the commercial fishing industry in the region.  In addition, increasing the ice making and storage capacity was a priority in the new facility to ensure that the needs of the industry could be met during the high seasons. 

Although there are finish work items that remain to be completed including trim and detail work, the manufacturer of the ice making equipment has been on site to conduct test production and make final modifications to the system over the past several weeks.  The equipment manufacturer has provided extensive training for Port staff in how to operate the equipment both safely and effectively, with the final training session taking place the afternoon of Friday, September 11th.  Test ice production began on September 1, which provided the opportunity to fully vet the equipment with the intention of addressing any issues within the system while the manufacturer has been on site. 

The new plant will increase ice making and storage capacity to ensure adequate access for resident and traveling fishing fleets.  Storage capacity will increase from 115 to 158 tons, and production from 2 to 5 tons per hour.  The added production will improve service delivery times in the high seasons, which will in turn increase availability and reduce potential delays due to high demand versus production ratio.

As the third largest fishing hub in the State of Oregon, it was critical that the Port took immediate action to rebuild the facility.  The new plant will serve as one of the few public ice docks in the State, ensuring that fleets from throughout the State and west coast will have ice readily accessible to preserve their catch.

For additional information, please contact:
Margaret Barber, Director of External Affairs // 541-266-3713

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