Norfolk Southern has completed an $18 million upgrade to its Lamberts Point export coal facility in Norfolk. The company said Thursday that the major upgrade positions the facility to remain the largest and fastest coal transload site in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Lamberts Point site transfers coal hauled by train from Appalachian coal fields to ships bound for world markets. “This investment reflects our belief in the long-term prospects for the global coal market and Norfolk Southern’s continuing pivotal role in that market,” Danny Smith, Norfolk Southern’s senior vice president-energy and property, said in a statement. “This helps assure that we will remain the premier link to the global market place for high grade metallurgical and thermal coals alike.“
The work, completed on schedule over a 90-day period beginning in August, involved major overhauls of the facility’s dumper system, which transfers coal from rail cars to a conveyor system, and its two loaders, massive rolling structures that deliver coal to the ships.
The upgrades coincide with the 50th anniversary of Lambert’s Point, which began operations on one loader in December 1962. The second loader came on line in spring of 1963.
Pier 6 at Lamberts has an annual capacity of 36 million tons of coal. With both sets of dumpers and loaders operating, it can handle up to 8,000 tons of coal per hour. In January 2012, Pier 6 loaded a record 159,941.45 net tons of coal onto a ship bound for China.
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