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Planned project could bring jobs and oil to Port Arthur

Updated: Wednesday, July 9 2014, 10:17 PM CDT
PORT ARTHUR - by Lauren Huet

Demand for Canadian crude oil could bring jobs and train cars filled with crude to Port Arthur. Two companies announced an agreement to build a unit train crude oil terminal and Southeast Texans looking for work hope the project goes through.

Joshua Peltier is looking for work at Workforce Solutions in Port Arthur.

"I'm a tankerman, out on the water, I tank barges but I can also tank rail cars. It's all the same thing," said Peltier.

Peltier hopes a planned project brings Canadian crude oil down the tracks to a new train terminal in Port Arthur.

"Crude oil has been traveling to Port Arthur by rail for sometime now," said Port Arthur City Councilman Robert Williamson. "The new fracking and the release of all the extra oil has brought that to us by rail car as well as ships."

Global Partners and Kansas City Southern want to partner to bring Canadian crude to Port Arthur.

"Global Partners have introduced the idea of a unit train concept for an export terminal that would be located south of the Port of Port Arthur on KCS [Kansas City Southern] property," said Williamson.

Global Partners says there's a strong demand for Western Canadian crude oil. Port Arthur wants to benefit from that demand.

"And while the Keystone XL is on everyone's minds, most people don't realize that the Keystone, even if it reaches here, will not provide the full capacity that our refineries need," said Williamson. "And so rail will be a big part and ships will still be a big part of oil refining here."

The project isn't a done deal, because Global Partners still needs permits. Peltier is ready to apply for a job if the project goes through.

"I think it would be great," said Peltier. "I wouldn't have to go to Houston and Galveston and all these other places for work."

"Welcome. Welcome, Global. Come on in, let's talk," said Williamson.

An invitation that could create jobs at the end of the line. Williamson says, depending on the size of the terminal, the project could create hundreds of construction jobs.Planned project could bring jobs and oil to Port Arthur

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