October 7, 2019

Day 4: Green Manufacturing Award honors one of the cleanest refineries in the nation (w/ video)

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 0
Jolie Rhinehart, refinery manager at the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery, speaks after her company was named the recipient of AWB’s 2019 Green Manufacturing Award on Oct. 7, 2019, for its work to increase its energy efficiency and safety. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)

AWB’s Manufacturing Week bus tour began its second leg this morning in the northwest corner of the state for the presentation of an award for environmental excellence.

AWB President Kris Johnson presented the Manufacturing Excellence Award for Green Manufacturing to Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery, which has gone above and beyond regulatory standards to invest in efficiency and safety upgrades.

That includes a rebuild in 2017 of its tallest tower the crude unit, which now uses 10% less energy as it separates out gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products.

For five of the last six years, the refinery has earned the EPA Energy Star certification, one of only five refineries in the nation to earn the elite certification in 2018.

Not only does the Phillips 66 Ferndale refinery supply much of the gasoline and diesel for stations across the Pacific Northwest, but it’s also where more than 500 people come to work every day.

More on the tour's Phillips 66 stop:

The tour also included these stops:

Alcoa Intalco Works, Ferndale

Founded in 1966, Alcoa Intalco Works employs more than 700 people. It is the only aluminum smelter on the West Coast.

Alumina, processed from Australian bauxite ore, is brought by ship in a month-long journey across the Pacific Ocean. Unloaded at Alcoa’s deepwater dock, the sand-like alumina is processed using electricity and is poured at 950 degrees Celsius as it is formed into aluminum ingots that are then sold to users.

It’s a smelting process that the company knows well: Alcoa invented the aluminum process in 1888.

“It never ceases to amaze me that we take this dirt and turn it into this really pretty silver aluminum,” said Dave Umbaugh, a 39-year employee of the plant who led the AWB tour.

Broadcast Tools, Sedro-Woolley

Broadcast Tools in Sedro-Woolley manufactures around 50 products, mostly for customers in broadcast radio. Their main focus is on remote control switching devices and broadcasting devices that are sold through a series of dealers all over the U.S. and the world.

The company started in the basement of their house in Seattle 30 years ago. Today the husband-and-wife team of CEO/chief technical officer Don Winget and bookkeeper/spokesperson Connie Miller lead a company with products found in almost every radio station in the USA.

AMTEC, Everett

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen joined members of Everett Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center (AMTEC) program for a photo with the AWB Manufacturing Week tour bus after a tour of AMTEC.

The AMTEC program teaches engineering technology, welding, composites, precision machining, mechatronics and other high-demand skills with a mix of hands-on training and a 54,000-square-foot modern learning environment.

The program appeals to slightly older students who are already in the working world; the average age of the 740 annual AMTEC students is about 28 to 30 years old.

Fluid Motion, Monroe

Using bolts of fiberglass and barrels of resin, Fluid Motion in Monroe builds Ranger Tugs and Cutwater boats from the ground up. The largest boat builder on the West Coast, the company manufactures and tests all its boats right here in Washington, then ship them all over the world, including Japan, China and Australia. They employ around 300 people and produce approximately 500 boats a year.

The AWB Manufacturing Week tour bus visited Fluid Motion’s “Monroe two” facility (its second in Monroe and one of six facilities overall in the Puget Sound region).

Among the company’s six facilities is its original plant in Kent, which it opened in 1958.

Icicle Brewing, Leavenworth

Pam Brulotte and her husband, Oliver, own and operate Icicle Brewing in Leavenworth. After starting with a tiny sausage house in the Bavarian themed community, they expanded with a brew pub downtown and recently opened a dedicated brewhouse on the outskirts of town.

Last year they brewed 5,000 barrels (10,000 kegs) of craft beef. They employ 60-90 people (depending on the season) at their two facilities.

As they expand, they innovate. Theirs is the first small craft brewery in Washington with a carbon dioxide recovery system.


The Manufacturing Week bus tour continues Tuesday with a swing east from Wenatchee. The tour will conclude Thursday in the Yakima area.

Day 4 Highlights