LONGVIEW, WASH. — Marking the industry’s first such opening in a quarter century, dedication ceremonies were conducted today at the export grain elevator of EGT L.L.C. in Longview.
The E.G.T. terminal first received an export vessel for loading in February and has scaled up operation since then. To date, 20 vessels exporting more than 1 million tonnes of grain have been serviced, and the facility is projected to have an annual throughput capacity of 8 million tonnes, loading up to 200 vessels.
The dedication ceremony was highlighted by a keynote address by Islam A. Siddiqui, chief agricultural negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Mr. Siddiqui offered an overview of U.S. trade policy and opportunities for continuing growth in agricultural exports.
EGT is a joint venture between Bunge North America; Itochu International Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Japanese trading company ITOCHU Corp.; and STX Pan Ocean, a top international bulk carrier, based in South Korea.
The first U.S. export terminal built since the late 1980s, the EGT facility features state-of-the art technology making the operation faster, more flexible and efficient than other export terminals, the company said.
“Our Longview terminal will help expand economic opportunities for American farmers to meet growing demand for grain in Asia,” said Larry Clarke, chief executive officer of EGT. “In our industry, efficiency and speed are critical to success. Farmers need to know they can deliver grain from field to market as quickly as possible and EGT’s innovative design, technology and dedicated workforce make us the most efficient terminal in the marketplace.”
Mr. Siddiqui offered a broader context in his remarks.
“As our economic recovery continues, agriculture is truly leading the way,” he said. “Last year, U.S. agricultural exports reached a record high of $137.4 billion, and supported over 1 million American jobs.”