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Charleston Ice Plant Rebuild Beginning to Take Shape

For Immediate Release: May 13, 2020
Coos Bay, OR –

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) is continuing to make progress on the rebuild of the Charleston Ice Plant, with a planned reopen date of August 2020. Access to commercial grade flake ice is critical to certain west coast fisheries, including whiting, shrimp, and squid. The Port immediately began work to restore access to ice following a catastrophic fire in that destroyed the former facility in late December of 2019.

The Charleston Marina serves as the third largest commercial fishing hub in the State of Oregon. In 2019, over 18.6 million pounds of fish and shellfish were landed with a value of more than $28.6 million according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In addition to the value of the catch landed in Charleston, the fishing industry indirectly supports nearly all businesses located in the area, including the Shipyard, boating supply shops, tackle shops, and the local tourism industry through Charleston’s recreational fishing draw.

Understanding the pressing need to provide continued availability of ice to both commercial and recreational fisheries, the Port engaged commercial and recreational fishermen to design a facility that will serve the greatest needs for the most users. Although the rebuild project will be covered in part by insurance, due to changes in building and environmental codes, construction costs will exceed insurance coverage. To cover costs in excess of insurance coverage, the Port has secured Special Public Works Fund (SPWF) and Port Revolving Loan Fund (PRLF) loans through Business Oregon totaling $6 million.

The Port will be adding significant ice making and storage capacity at the new facility 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 time in the high seasons, allowing fleets to operate more efficiently and avoid delay times.

The rebuild project includes replacement of piles, new decking at the dock head, and new ice making equipment housed in a building structure. All new piles and pile caps have been placed at the dock head. The contractor is currently placing concrete slabs above the piles. Replacing the old wooden piles and deck face with steel piling and concrete surfacing will significantly increase the longevity of the structure, ensuring this critical resource is available to the Charleston fleet for decades to come. Pictured below is the new dock piling and cap structure with adjacent work barges.

The commercial fishing fleet is the economic backbone of Charleston, Oregon. As a primary economic driver for the region and state, the Port continues its firm commitment to the fleets in ensuring that essential resources are available.


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

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