Barge opportunities at new crude oil terminal

The Gulf Gateway Terminal (GGT), which should increase barge traffic along the Mississippi River and smaller tributaries, is scheduled to open next week at the Port of New Orleans.

Receiving crude oil shipments by train from locations where hydraulic fracking operations are underway, the oil will then leave GGT by barge destined for refineries along the river or kept in storage. Its location on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at the Industrial Canal will allow access by water to 12 major refineries.

The terminal’s unloading capacity is designed to handle one unit train per day. GGT will be equipped to transfer up to 10,000 bph directly into barges or into a tank with 103,000 barrels of usable storage.

“It should mean a lot more business for the refineries,” said Pat Gallwey, chief operating officer at the Port of New Orleans. “It will create some job activity and will definitely be a revenue producer for the port.”

A joint venture between Bulk Resources Inc. and Murex Ltd., GGT was 18 months in the making and has a 30-year lease with the port. “It’s the old Elaine Street wharf and that property wasn’t set up for this kind of thing at all,” said Gallwey.  

The 41.5-acre terminal is designed to provide operational flexibility, optimizing the movement of crude oil from rail to water.

The unit-train capable terminal will be located on the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB), offering access to six major railroads, including Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BSNF), Union Pacific (UP), Canadian National (CN), Kansas City Southern (KCS), CSX and Norfolk Southern (NS).

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