On Sept. 21, Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) employees at its Pier 6 terminal in Virginia finished loading 168,977 net tons of coking coal into the M/V Negonego, destined for use by integrated steel producers in China.
That’s a record not only for Pier 6, but also for the entire U.S., where Pier 6 is the top performer among more than a dozen export terminals on the East, Gulf, and West coasts, the railroad said in a Sept. 23 statement.
“I can give you 450 individual reasons behind this achievement,” said Jeff Yates, NS superintendent of terminals. “Our Lamberts Point employees are passionate about safety, service, and productivity. That’s how they loaded the M/V Negonego in an astonishingly fast 40 hours and 45 minutes.”
T. Parker Host Inc. was the vessel agent. The coal was shipped by Pennsylvania-based coal marketing company Xcoal Energy and Resources in 1,592 railroad coal cars. XCoal CEO Ernie Thrasher said: “Everyone from the miners at the Buchanan Mine to the employees at NS contributed to this record. They work every day to sustain our business, and they deserve the credit.”
Buchanan is a CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) longwall mine in southwest Virginia that produces low-vol metallurgical coal out of the Pocahontas coal seam.
The previous Pier 6 loading record was set just a couple of days prior, on Sept. 18, when 166,840 net tons of metallurgical coal were loaded into the M/V China Pioneer, just as Pier 6 was celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“Pier 6 truly is a ‘pier without peer,'” said Mark Bower, NS group vice president, export, metallurgical, and industrial coal marketing. “America has 25 percent of the world’s known recoverable coal reserves – more energy than all the oil in the Middle East. NS and our production and sales partners are the reliable team for getting that coal to the world’s utilities and coke plants.”
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. Pier 6 opened for business in 1962 as the hemisphere’s largest, fastest, and most efficient transload facility.
Most of the coal moving through Pier 6 originates in southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and Pennsylvania. It is shipped to several dozen countries as well as to coastwise domestic customers.
Norfolk Southern Corp.’s Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern U.S., and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. NS is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.