Threat to London float of US port
Sunday 11 June 1995
The company, which hopes to raise pounds 15.2m in its flotation on 28 June, has outraged many residents of the city of Benicia, 30 miles north of San Francisco in California, with a scheme to lease land to a $15m (pounds 10m) petroleum coke handling and export facility. Members of a citizens' action group, Benicians Against Domes (Bad), hope to block the project either through the planning process or by changing the zoning and land use regulations, which are currently under review.
Many of Benicia's 25,000 citizens fear the facility's six 100-ft high silos will mar the skyline in a designated historic site that dates back to the American Civil War more than a century ago.
They are also concerned about the environmental impact of the plan and are calling for a detailed review.
Some 1,500 have signed a petition since January calling for the land to be rezoned, and lawyers are looking into other ways to block the project.
Allan Andrew, a property lawyer and spokesman for Bad, who owns land near the port, said the project, which was due to be completed within a year, could be tied up in the approval process for at least that time. "Various ex-officials and current members of the civic government, including the former mayor, are questioning whether it is allowed," he said.
According to the pathfinder prospectus published in London as part of the flotation, the coke plant proposed by tenants Koch Industries and Hall-Buck Marine would lead to a "significant expansion" away from the port's traditional business of importing cars and trucks from Japan. Phillip Plant, the chief operating officer, dismissed the opposition.
Mr Plant was in the UK last week with his executive chairman, Timothy Chadwick, promoting the new issue to institutional investors, and he claimed that it was a routine matter to get planning approval in the US.
"We have no concern that it is the proper zoning. There is no restriction on the type of bulk cargo we can move," he said, adding that the port already had a petroleum coke facility on the site to supply steel makers around the Pacific.
Its London stockbroker, Greig, Middleton & Company , was unaware of the opposition and referred to getting the planning approvals "rubber stamped". The company's briefing document for investors says that the project is "subject to certain consents".
The Port of Benicia occupies former military land. It is now the largest port-related industrial complex on the Californian coast.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Rotten egg smell could help battle heart disease and Alzheimer's
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...