On October 10, 2019, the Tulsa Port along with Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) held a joint press conference to announce a historic land transfer. More than 2,000 acres in Inola may soon become one of the state’s premier economic development sites following the ownership transfer of Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s (PSO) Inola River-Rail Site. PSO has transferred the property to the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority, which plans to develop the site to attract large-scale economic development projects.
“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 enter 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.
About the Tulsa/Rogers County Port Authority
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 patters, and operate in a financially independent manner.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), is an electric utility company serving more than 554,000 customers accounts across 30,000 square miles in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. Based in Tulsa, PSO has nearly 3,800 megawatts of primarily gas-fired generating capacity, 22-thousand miles of distribution lines, 37-hundred miles of transmission lines, and is one of the largest distributors of wind energy in the state. News releases and other information is at www.PSOklahoma.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PSOklahoma.