For Immediate Release: February 7, 2020
Updated: March 3, 2020
CHARLESTON, OR -
The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) has been aggressively pursuing solutions to provide commercial grade flake ice to the fishing fleet following the fire at the ice plant in late December of 2019. Following a declaration of emergency, staff have been working as quickly as possible to minimize any impacts to the local fishing fleet.
Staff explored options to lease equipment for short-term relief while a long-term solution was pursued. Unfortunately, leasing equipment is not an option as the units necessary to produce the type of ice required by the fleet are only available for purchase. Temporary systems that have been identified to this point are cost prohibitive and would have insufficient capacity to transition to a long-term solution. Additionally, staff learned that the short- and long-term solutions had similar delivery timeframes, which led the focus to expediting the permanent solution. However, temporary solutions will continue to be explored until the facility is rebuilt.
The Port is working to replace the ice plant facility in Charleston and is actively in the process of engineering, design and removal of piling from the damaged portion of the dock. The new ice plant facility will have greater ice manufacturing capacity as well as be more energy efficient than the former plant. “It’s essential that we get this project completed as quickly as possible to ensure the needs of the fleet are met now and into the future,” stated Brandon Collura, Charleston Marina Harbormaster.
An engineering firm and prime contractor have been selected to complete the necessary work and engineering and design have commenced. The Charleston Marina serves as the third largest commercial fishing hub in the State of Oregon. In 2018, over 25 million pounds of fish and shellfish were landed with a value of more than $34 million according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The commercial fishing industry is a critical component to the regional economy of southwestern Oregon.
For additional media information, please contact:
Margaret Barber, Director of External Affairs