NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern has completed loading the second largest cargo in the history of its Pier 6 coal transloading facility at Lamberts Point in Norfolk.
On Dec. 27, 2010, Norfolk Southern finished loading 155,522 net tons (141,089.268 metric tons) of coal into the M/V Cape Provence, destined for ArcelorMittal in Flushing, Netherlands. The coal came from various mines in 1,487 railroad coal cars. Capes Shipping was the ship agent/broker.
The timing of the loading underscores an important point, said Daniel D. Smith, NS senior vice president energy and properties. “The worldwide demand for coal for utilities and coke plants doesn’t take many holidays, and the partnership between Norfolk Southern and our coal suppliers, receivers, and agents is dependable around the clock and around the year,” he said.
Jeffrey G. Yates, terminal superintendent at Pier 6, praised the safety awareness of everyone involved in the Cape Provenceloading.
“The coal supply chain is a great example of what it means to put safety first,” he said. “Whether it’s a routine loading or a record loading, everyone from the mines to the coal pier to the vessels to the receivers works to keep safety the hallmark of the process.”
The Cape Provence loading was just shy of the record 157,645 net tons for the M/V Irongate in 1998.
Norfolk Southern has been transferring coal and coke from railroad cars into ocean-going export and domestic vessels in the Lamberts Point area since 1884, when it opened Pier 1. In the first half of the 1900s, new Piers 2-5 featured improvements in speed and capacity and even loaded coal into a number of famous vessels, such as those used in Admiral Byrd’s 1933 Antarctica expedition.
Pier 6 opened for business in 1962 as the hemisphere’s largest, fastest, and most efficient transloading facility. In 1999, Pier 6 dumped its billionth ton of coal and became the only facility in the world to have reached that milestone.
Most of the coal moving through Pier 6 originates in Southwest Virginia, Southern West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky,Pennsylvania, and Alabama. It is shipped to several dozen countries as well as to coastwise domestic receivers. Pier 6 is situated with access to Hampton Roads’ deep 50-foot channel, which allows modern vessels to make productive use of their large holds.