BNSF to serve crude oil, ethanol terminals; Louisiana & Northwest to serve tie reclamation firm (11/11/2011)


On Nov. 7, a BNSF Railway Co. unit train departed Bakken Oil Express L.L.C.’s (BOE) rail hub in the Bakken Shale near Dickinson, N.D. — the first crude oil-loaded unit train to depart the new hub, BOE officials said in a prepared statement. The 103-car train carrying 70,000 barrels of oil was destined for a terminal in St. James, La.

The rail hub, which can handle 100,000 barrels per day, is the first multi-shipper unit train facility for crude oil in North Dakota, BOE officials said. The facility can receive oil by both truck and pipeline.

Later this month, BOE plans to hold a grand opening for the initial hub, which eventually will be expanded to boost daily capacity to more than 250,000 barrels.

Meanwhile, Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. subsidiary BlendStar L.L.C. announced plans to build a BNSF-served ethanol unit train terminal in Birmingham, Ala. To be completed in third-quarter 2012, the terminal will be designed to store 160,000 barrels of ethanol and receive 96-car unit trains.

The facility will be the eastern-most point for direct rail shipments of ethanol received from the Midwest, resulting in improved ethanol distribution through one of the “most modern and efficient ethanol terminal in the United States, said Green Plains President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Becker in a prepared statement.

“We believe Birmingham is a significant growth market, and development of this unit train terminal is a part of our ongoing effort to expand and diversify our business platform along the value chain,” he said.

In another announcement, Banyan Rail Services Inc.’s Wood Energy Group Inc. division shared plans to expand wood-tie reclamation and energy generation operations, and relocate from Shreveport to a 10-acre site at Louisiana & Northwest Railroad’s (LNW) new Iron Bridge Road transload facility in Gibsland, La. Wood Energy entered into a five-year lease with the LNW, a Patriot Rail Corp. subsidiary.

The move to a transload facility by year’s end and an investment in new tie grinding equipment will streamline operations, reduce costs and position the company for growth, said Wood Energy President Greg Smith in a prepared statement.

Last year, Wood Energy reclaimed more than 1.5 million ties from Class Is. Per an agreement reached earlier this year with Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific Railroad, the company expects to reclaim more than 2 million ties in 2012.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News