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Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority approves Sofidel's funding agreement for Inola Rail Project
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Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority approves Sofidel's funding agreement for Inola Rail Project

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Photo of Sofidel plant in Inola (copy) (copy) (copy)

The $360 million Sofidel plant, which was officially opened in January, has 1.8 million square feet.

A payment schedule was approved Thursday for a manufacturer that is providing $1.5 million in matching funds toward a rail project at the Tulsa Port of Inola.

The Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority OK’d the funding agreement progression for tissue maker Sofidel, which in 2018 purchased 240 acres at the Inola River-Rail Site to build a $360 million facility that encompasses about 1.8 million square feet.

Sofidel’s financial contribution supports a $6.1 million, U.S. Department of Transportation Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant awarded to the Port Authority, said Andrew Ralston, who heads economic development for Tulsa Ports (Catoosa and Inola).

Estimated to cost $12.1 million, the Inola Rail Project will encompass about 5.3 miles of new and upgraded railroad track, he said. It includes the building and development of a 3-mile rail spur connecting Sofidel the the freight mainline railway.

Construction on the project is scheduled to being in the second quarter of 2022 and be completed in nine to 15 months, Ralston said. The agreement stipulates that Sofidel is to make six payments of $250,000 each.

In 2019, PSO entrusted the Tulsa Port with the future development of the Inola industrial site through a land transfer of about 2,000 acres.

The USDOT is expected to provide $905.25 million to 24 projects in 18 states under INFRA discretionary grant program. These grants advance rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and creating jobs by funding highway and rail projects of regional and national economic significance.

Headquartered in Italy and founded in 1966, Sofidel is among the largest producers of tissue in the world, making more than 1.4 million tons of the paper annually.

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