PSO and Port Authority reach land deal

Public Service Company of Oklahoma has reached a deal in which more than 2,000 acres of the company’s Inola River-Rail site have been turned over to the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority.
The Authority plans to turn the site into economic development sites.

“Attracting Sofidel to our Inola property last year has played a huge role in bringing attention to this location as an excellent site for large-scale projects,” said PSO President and COO, Peggy Simmons. “We are very pleased to partner with the Port Authority, who has the expertise and years of experience with land development to build on that success and take this location to the next level.”

The property is located along the Verdigris River, which is part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, and connects to the Port Authority’s existing facilities at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. With both barge and rail access available at the Inola site, the location is ideal for much-needed expansion of Port operations and for future industrial development.

“In 1963, the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority began the vision to turn 2,000 acres of rural Rogers County property into an inland waterway port and industrial park. Today, there is more than a billion dollars of private investment at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, with 70 companies employing over 3,200 people. We are very thankful to PSO for having faith in the Port Authority as the right partner to bring development experience to this property and assist industrial and manufacturing facilities to locate and thrive in the region,” said the Tulsa Port’s Director, David Yarbrough. “As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and the completion of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, we are excited to start this new chapter in our history and create opportunity for the next generation.”

PSO has owned the Inola property for decades and in 2014 it began a stringent, 18-month site certification process and started marketing the location for high impact economic development projects

In 2018, tissue manufacturing giant Sofidel purchased 240 acres at the site to construct a $360 million facility. The 1.8 million square foot plant will permanently employ 300 people and have an estimated annual economic impact of $100 million.

Though long-term plans for development are just underway, terms of the agreement call for the Tulsa Port of Catoosa to develop and enhance the property’s infrastructure. PSO will continue to be the electricity provider for the property, co-develop a master plan with the Port and help in co-marketing efforts.

Located at the head of navigation for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System in Northeast Oklahoma, The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is one of the largest, most-inland river ports in the United States. Whether it’s agricultural commodities, building materials, petroleum products or machinery, it can be shipped in and out of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa daily using a combination of barge, rail and truck.

With 70 current industrial and transportation tenants, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is managed and operated by the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority and provides development services through Tulsa’s Port of Catoosa Facilities Authority. Both are public entities charged with implementing the Port’s mission, which is to promote the long-term viability of the waterway and its ability to provide water transport, grow the employment and economic base of Northeast Oklahoma, optimize the region’s barge and related rail and truck bulk freight patterns, and operate in a financially independent manner.