OCTOBER 3, 2013 — Foss Maritime's parent Saltchuk Resources said yesterday that it has signed a purchase and sales agreement with Kimberly-Clark to buy a 66-acre property on the Everett, WA, waterfront, formerly home to Kimberly-Clark's pulp mill and tissue plant.
Saltchuk says the deal will initially bring approximately 250 skilled, family-wage jobs to the Everett waterfront and create a thriving/vital shipbuilding and maritime industry in the heart of Everett with a strong potential to create additional jobs at the site in the future.
Saltchuk, a second generation Northwest-based, family-owned business, employs 6,500 people nationwide, with 800 in the Puget Sound region. Through its subsidiary operating companies, Saltchuk's Pacific Northwest presence includes Foss Maritime Company, the largest domestic tug and barge company on the Pacific Rim, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, a Tacoma based shipping company with regularly scheduled service to Alaska, and Interstate Distributor, a national trucking company.
"We see tremendous opportunity and potential for further growth at the Everett site, a deep water port with unrestricted waterways. And we believe the redevelopment of this site as a shipyard and maritime complex will contribute a vital economic base to the Everett community," said Mark Tabbutt, Chairman of Saltchuk.
The existing Foss Maritime shioyard in Seattle, located inside the Ballard Locks, is not accessible to larger ships and is too small for future expansion, making the larger, salt-water site in Everett a more attractive long-term option, Mr. Tabbutt noted. Work on current shipbuilding projects in Seattle will continue at that location over the next several years. The headquarters offices for Saltchuk and Foss Maritime will remain in Seattle.
Saltchuk says that work remains to be done to close the deal. The purchase and sales agreement calls for a four-month due diligence period, followed by adequate time to close the transaction. If all goes as planned, the sale will close early in the second quarter of 2014.
Saltchuk will be developing the site plan for the property as well as working with local, state and federal officials to determine the permits required to develop the site in a way that fits its needs. Kimberly-Clark will continue its early action to clean-up the site and hopes to further accelerate its work with the Department of Ecology to develop the final remediation plan for the site.
Foss' relationship with the site dates back to the early 1950s when Foss delivered barges of wood chips to the Scott Paper mill (which was acquired later by Kimberly-Clark). Kimberly-Clark and its predecessors operated paper pulp and tissue mills at the site from 1931 – 2012.