Portland Terminal FAQs

Who is Zenith Energy?

Based in Houston, TX, Zenith Energy is a safety-focused liquids storage company that owns 21 facilities in the US.

Our customers trust us with the safe and efficient storage of their critical products. Zenith provides services to

some of the largest companies in the world and has passed their vigorous inspection and vetting requirements.

We are proud of our employees and their dedication to our safety-first culture.

What does Zenith Energy do?

Zenith Energy provides storage and handling services to customers. You can think of us as a warehouse for

liquids. All of the products in the terminal are owned and transported to and from the terminal by our

customers. Zenith does not own, purchase, market or trade any of the liquids stored in our facilities. Zenith does

not arrange, manage, charter or otherwise contract for transportation services, nor do we have any control of

the origin or destination of our customers’ products.

When did Zenith locate in Portland?

In December 2017, Zenith Energy acquired Arc Logistics, which operated 21 terminals in the US and at the time,

was operating the Portland Terminal under a lease with CorEnergy. In December 2018, Zenith purchased the

Portland Terminal from CorEnergy. The Portland Terminal has serviced the regional area since the 1940s and is a

critical piece of the energy logistical hub that supplies the Pacific Northwest. Zenith currently has a highly skilled

and trained workforce of 18 full-time employees who operate the facility 24/7 and they receive family wages

with benefits. The team is trained and certified to maintain the highest environmental and operational

standards.

What is the Portland Project?

Upon purchasing the Portland Terminal, Zenith undertook a project to spend significant capital to modernize the

facility, making it safer for employees, community and the environment. Contrary to what has been written in

the press, Zenith is not expanding the facility. When we initiated the project, the terminal was able to hold 44

railcars and, upon completion, the terminal still holds 44 railcars. Neither does the project add additional

storage capacity. Zenith is refurbishing existing tanks and making them more safe and resilient. Our plans do not

conflict with the City’s 2016 ordinance respecting the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.

The current construction project uses local contractors, trades men and women, and suppliers – currently

averaging more than 100 individuals on site per day – providing significant economic stimulus for the area. All

contractors receive training on Zenith’s safety policies and procedures and are required to live up to Zenith’s

high standards of operational safety.

What is Bitumen Crude and Dilbit?

Bitumen Crude is a naturally-occurring, highly viscous hydrocarbon that is classified as an extra heavy oil, with an

API gravity of about 8 degrees and can be almost solid at room temperature. Unless heated, Bitumen Crude is

difficult to handle and transport. Dilbit is a blend of cleaner bitumen (the bitumen has been processed to

remove water and solids and contains less than 1% water and solids) diluted with other light hydrocarbons,

usually in the order of 30 to 40% by volume. Dilbit is a lighter form of crude with an API gravity of about 20-22

degrees and does not require heat to transport. Dilbit typically has a specific gravity (.98) that allows it to be

neutrally buoyant and would not sink under most conditions.

Does Zenith store and export Bitumen Crude?

For a period of approximately two months, pursuant to a short-term legacy contract that predated Zenith’s

ownership of the terminal, the terminal received and stored bitumen crude in full compliance with the law and

its permits. Shortly after acquiring the Portland Terminal, Zenith choose to cancel that contract because the

exportation of bitumen crude did not fit the long-term business plan that Zenith has for the terminal. Zenith

does store dilbit crude (amongst other lighter crudes), which our customers deliver to destinations on the US

West Coast.

What is the long-term plan for the Portland Terminal?

In Portland, a large part of our business plan is focused on attracting renewable fuels, including renewable

diesel, biofuels and ethanol. In the Pacific Northwest, these renewable fuels move almost exclusively by rail or

water from their production facilities to consumption areas. We agree with the City of Portland’s focus on the

need for lower carbon fuels and Zenith believes its business plan to increase the terminal’s allocation of storage

capacity for such products to be in line with that focus. To do so, safe rail and access to marine docks are

required. We have applied for a permit to install new pipelines to handle these green energy fuels and other

non-fossil fuel products.

What is Zenith’s commitment to safety?

The cornerstone of our business is providing a safe workspace for our team members and being a responsible

corporate citizen. Ensuring all our employees go home in the same condition they arrived at work is of the

utmost importance. Under no circumstance will safety be compromised. Part of the modernization project that

has been completed, included the installation of a state-of-the-art fire suppression system that has a deluge

foam system over every railcar inside the terminal.

Annually, the terminal conducts drills that involve local, state and federal agencies. Approved drills were

conducted in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 involving various types of heavy and light crude oils, as well as

diesel. Plans are currently underway for the fall 2019 drill , which will involve a product we currently handle and

store for a customer.

Zenith is proud of its safety record, having recently won the 2018 ILTA safety award and been recognized by the

CN Railroad as a recipient of their 2018 Safe Handling Award based on Zenith’s record of safely handling railcars

containing oil and refined products. Additionally, Zenith is committed to supporting the local first responders

and partnered with the BNSF to host the Portland Fire Department for a three-day training session at the

terminal.

 
 

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Portland Terminal FAQs