OH Transload Facility Sits in Catbird Seat Between the Crackers

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Wellsville Intermodal Facility – click for larger version

November 2012 was the first time we wrote about the transloading facility in Wellsville (Columbiana County) Ohio (see Drilling Mud Manufacturer Opens Plant in Wellsville, OH). A transloading facility is a place where things like pipes and grain and oil and gas and whatever comes in on one form of transportation, say a train or a barge–and gets unloaded and then is sent out via a different form of transportation, typically a truck. The Wellsville Intermodal Facility is one such transloading facility smack in the middle of Utica Shale country. The second time we wrote about the facility was January 2013 (see Columbiana Port Authority Close to Final Deal with Marathon). The third time we wrote about it was October 2013 (see Progress for Arrowhead NGL Transload Facility in Wellsville, OH). Today is the fourth time. Pier 48 Stevedoring operates a crane at the facility to load and unload barges. Pier 48 has been operating a 60-ton bridge crane used to move cargo containers (think truck trailers). However, Pier 48 just cut the ribbon on a brand new bucket crane, which can grab loose materials–even liquids–and hold it without leaking, to move whatever it is from a hold in a barge into a tank on land (or the reverse). The comment made during the ceremony that caught our eye is that this new crane has come at “an incredibly opportune time” because of the Shell ethane cracker plant being built 25 miles away, and a second potential cracker that may get built not far down the river in Belmont County. This new crane, and the transloading facility, sit in the catbird seat. With the coming cracker plants, manufacturers will locate in the region and need bulk shipping services for the materials they handle and the products they make…

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