Spokane Journal of Business

HiTest Sand seeks power services for smelter

Company hopes to build silicon plant near Newport

  • Print Article

Silica Investments Inc., the parent company of Canada-based HiTest Sand Inc., earlier this week submitted to the Pend Oreille County Public Utility District a formal request for power services for its proposed silicon smelter south of Newport, Wash., says Kimberly Gentle, director of power and risk management for the PUD.

The Dec. 13 request includes a cost reimbursement agreement and deposit for system studies and engineering work needed for power delivery, she says.

For an industrial electricity consumer of the scale HiTest is planning, the Bonneville Power Administration requires studies to discern any possible effects to nearby utilities or the overall power grid, she says.

She says the PUD will complete engineering and project planning to determine both the necessary facilities and feasibility of providing power to the possible smelter plant. 

“All of the local utilities will go through studies to ensure that it doesn’t impact their customers,” Gentle says.

It’s expected to take about six months to determine the possible power delivery options, she says.

To begin the planning and study process, HiTest paid a security deposit of $250,000. A second deposit of the same amount is due on Feb. 1, and a third deposit of $500,000 is due before July 1, she says.

In August, HiTest purchased 186 acres of land south of Newport to build a $325 million silicon smelter. The company purchased the land from Pend Orielle PUD for $300,000.

The site is just outside of the city of Newport, abutting the Idaho border a little more than a mile south of the U.S. 2-Idaho state Route 41 junction.

Samantha Peone
  • Samantha Peone

  • Email Samantha Peone
  • Follow RSS feed for Samantha Peone

Reporter Samantha Peone joined the Journal in 2015 as research coordinator before later transitioning into a reporter role. She covers real estate and construction.

Read More

Sign up for our E-mail updates

including the
Morning Edition

Join our list