Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles is a port complex in southern California that occupies 7500 acres of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront. It is the busiest container port in the United States, followed by the Port of Long Beach, which it adjoins.
A dedicated coal terminal at the site was closed in 2003.
The port is located on San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro, California neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, approximately 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. The Port of Los Angeles adjoins the separate Port of Long Beach, employs over 16,000 people, and is the busiest container port in the United States.
Port of Los Angeles and Coal
In 1993, coal miner Peabody Energy led a consortium of investors that proposed a new coal export terminal at the Port of LA. In exchange for providing the 117 acres and $19 million in capital, the LA city agency received a 13% interest in the Los Angeles Export Terminal (LAXT), whose 29 partners were foreign and U.S. corporations involved in the coal and export business. The terminal was completed in 1997 to transfer coal from rail cars to ships for export; Peabody dropped out of the consortium before the terminal was built. The terminal was capable of handling 3 million tonnes of coal and 2 million tonnes of petroleum coke annually.
The facility closed in 2003, six years after it opened, owing to unfavorable market conditions. While in operation, the terminal also experienced at least two fires after dangerous amounts of coal dust accumulated in the ship-loading machinery. When the facility shut down, the City of Los Angeles had to write off $19 million of capital investment, and forfeit $94 million in expected revenue. Ultimately, the city was sued for improperly managing the site and for failing to consider alternative uses of the site, forcing LA taxpayers to pay $28 million to settle the suit.
After the closure, the City briefly considered giving up its $19 million equity in the terminal and transfer ownership to Oxbow Carbon, who would maintain use of 36 acres for 12.5 years to operate a petroleum coke export facility. The LA Council later voted to reject the deal.
Articles and Resources
- White, Ronald D. (August 7, 2011). "Long Beach port chief's long voyage nears an end". Retrieved on January 4, 2012.
- Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe “US Coal Exports: The Long Road to Asian Markets,” Oxford OIES PAPER: CL 2, March 2015
- "World Port Rankings - 2005" - Port Industry Statistics - American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) - Updated May 1, 2007 - (Microsoft Excel*.XLS document)
- "North American Port Container Traffic - 2006" - Port Industry Statistics - American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) - Updated May 14, 2007 - (Adobe Acrobat*.PDF document)
- FAQ # 22 at the Port of Los Angeles.org
- Patrick McGreevy, "L.A. Weighs Costly Exit From Coal Terminal," LA Times, June 14, 2003
- Eric de Place, "Gambling on Coal, and Losing," Sightline, Sep 12, 2011
- Patrick McGreevy, "L.A. Rejects Restructuring Plan for Port Venture," LA Times, June 18, 2003
Related SourceWatch articles
- California and coal
- U.S. coal exports
- Coal exports
- Profiles of other coal terminals (or click on the map)