Cline’s SITran LLC reworks plans for fleeting area for new coal dock

Coal operator Chris Cline’s SITran LLC is seeking a modified Section 404 Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a barge fleeting area at its new rail-to-river coal transloading dock on the Ohio River in Posey County, Ind.

The Corps office in Louisville, Ky., will be taking public comment on the application until Aug. 23. The location for this facility is Ohio River mile 818-819 on the Indiana side.

“The proposed project would modify Department of the Army Permit LRL-2009-1210 for the West Franklin Coal Transfer Facility,” said a Corps public notice. “The modification would relocate the originally permitted fleeting operations on the left bank of the Ohio River in Kentucky to a new location on the right bank of the Ohio River in Indiana immediately downstream of the barge loadout facility. The relocation is proposed to increase safety and barge transport efficiency at the facility by eliminating the need to cross the Ohio River when shifting barges between the fleeting and loading areas. The modification proposes to establish a fleeting area for 45 barges along approximately 3,325 linear feet on the right bank of the Ohio River. Barges would be held in three separate fleets holding a maximum capacity of 15 barges per fleet held in a 3 wide by 5 long configuration. The maximum riverward projection of the fleeting area at normal pool would be 165 feet.”

Mooring for the fleets would be achieved by the construction of 13 deadman structures. These structures would provide landward anchors for floating tie-in structures to anchor the barges in the fleeting area.

Cline’s Foresight Energy Partners LP said in an April 12 IPO prospectus filed at the SEC about this facility: “We have constructed a high-capacity coal transloading facility on the Ohio River near Evansville, Indiana. The terminal will include the potential for a dual rail loop that will have capacity for two loaded and two empty unit trains, a bottom discharge rail car unloader, stacking tubes to facilitate ground storage and blending and both barge and rail loading capabilities.”

The filing noted: “SITran has a contract with Coalfield Construction LLC pursuant to which Coalfield Construction provides contract labor for the operation and maintenance of a coal transloading dock on the Indiana side of the Ohio River to load coal delivered from our mines via the Evansville Western Railway onto barges for delivery to our customers.”

New dock handles coal out of rapidly-growing Illinois mines

Foresight Energy has three existing or in-development longwall mine complexes in nearby Illinois, and a fourth room-and-pillar job in that same state. A first-time longwall began operating in the first quarter of this year at the Sugar Camp mine in southern Illinois, with an initial longwall planned for the third quarter at the Hillsboro mine in Illinois.

Foresight’s four mining complexes all work the high-sulfur Herrin No. 6 coal seam and consist of:

  • Williamson, a mine that is now several years old (also known as Mach No. 1), which is currently producing coal with one longwall and two continuous miner units, with a productive capacity in excess of 7 million tons per year;
  • Sugar Camp, currently producing coal with one longwall and three continuous miner units, with a productive capacity of 28 million tons per year when all four of its longwalls are operational, the first of which began in the first quarter;
  • Hillsboro, currently producing coal with two continuous miner units, with a productive capacity of 27 million tons per year when all three of its longwalls are operational, the first of which has been expected to begin in the third quarter; and
  • Macoupin, a continuous miner operation in central Illinois with a productive capacity of 3 million tons per year.

The mining complexes are designed to support up to eight longwall mining systems, giving them a combined productive capacity of up to 65 million tons of high-Btu coal per year. This high-sulfur coal is largely aimed at a big new market created by the installation of SO2 scrubbers on a number of coal-fired power plants in the eastern U.S.

In 2010, Foresight produced 7.2 million tons of coal, and in 2011 it produced 10.4 million tons.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.