The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is currently handling one of the biggest single cargoes in the port’s 40-year history. A 388-ton electrical transformer recently arrived on the ship “Beluga Recognition” from Cordoba, Spain, and was transloaded at the port onto the largest railcar ever to enter the facility.
The transformer was loaded onto a 20-axle railcar for its trip to Ottawa, Ill., for installation at the Exelon Corp.’s LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station. The plant supplies electricity to Chicago and northern Illinois. The combined weight of the railcar and transformer is over 1.3 million pounds, or 650 tons. The transformer is currently being stored at the port until final delivery to the LaSalle County station in the near future.
The transformer was unloaded from the ship by the port’s terminal operator, Federal Marine Terminals, and a 16-man crew from the International Longshoremen’s Association. Specialized Rail Transport is handling the rail loading and transportation of the transformer to Illinois.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in project cargo shipments this year,” said Peter Laman, port director at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “This port has all the components a shipper would want to see for handling large cargoes – a world-class terminal operator, one of the most productive longshoremen labor units on the Great Lakes, sufficient draft for large ships, transload capabilities between rail, ship, truck and barge, and plenty of indoor and outdoor storage. Just take a look around our port today – we’ve got over 15 acres of wind turbine components, and more are on the way.”
Through July, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has handled nearly 70,000 tons of project cargo shipments and a 52-percent increase in overall port tonnage versus the same period in 2009.