Thursday, March 30, 2017

Petcoke, KCBX Terminals, and Beemsterboer Slag

EPA, note the van for the scale of the petcoke pile
British Petroleum converted their huge Whiting, IN refinery to process the oil produced from the tar sands in Canada. (Update: operating costs of oil sand production is $16.06/b and being reduced as they expand. And they have some other operations that produce even cheaper oil. [platts]) Unlike regular crude oil, the results of distilling the useful fluids out of the tar-sand crude was not asphalt or paraffin, but "petcoke." As an environmental threat, Indiana outlawed petcoke being stored in the state of Indiana. So the Kock brothers piled it up in Chicago, uncovered, at their KCBX Terminals.

I remember reading articles in the Chicago Tribune about residents complaining about the dust and water pollution caused by these piles. (Indiana was right to keep the stuff out of their state.) Kock agreed to build an enclosure. But I see now that they have decided to remove the piles from the city because it was estimated that enclosing the mess would cost $120 million and the Chicago Department of Public Health did not give them a 14-month extension. I wonder where they now pile up the petcoke.

The current satellite images were taken when the piles still existed, so I have captured the pictures. When you click the Kock Carbon icon, the company claims it is a "Firewood Supplier." What a euphemism for dust polluter.

I see the Kock brothers gave up trying to keep the dust under control and this facility is now empty.
Before the Kock brothers bought it. Tom Carter posted three photos with the comment:
Rail to Water Transfer Baldwin DRS-4-4-1500's 363 and 362 at their facility in Chicago's East Side neighborhood, just south of E 100th St. and just west of the Calumet River, on August 30, 1978. You can see a corner of the 100th St. bridge over the Calumet River at the left in the first photo, and the I-90 Skyway bridge behind it is visible at the left in the second photo. They also had DRS-4-4-1500 364, but I didn't see it that day. As the name implies, Rail to Water Transfer loaded freight cars onto and off of boats and barges. Initially they primarily moved coal, but added other products as they went along.


Craig Holmberg commented on Marty's share of Tom's posting

Note this following terminal is served by just ships and barges, there is no railroad.

Satellite, Beemsterboer Slag
The self-unloading laker in the river is being loaded. It looks like they are also loading barges that are docked in the slip.
Satellite, KCBX Terminals
A contemporary satellite image shows this facility is still being used.

I knew Kock was creating piles of nasty stuff in the city. But I did not know the name of the company was KCBX Terminals until I saw the following two photos and captions posted by Craig Cloud.

4   BRC 526 pulling empties out of KCBX Terminal summer 2002 or 03
[I recognized the Skyway in the background which further motivated me to dig into this BRC activity.]
6  BRC TR set sitting by KCBX Terminal South Deering taken sometime 1998 or 99 forget month
KCBX Terminals transloaded other materials between railroad, barge, and ships before they started handling petcoke. The other materials include "coal, salt, slag, cement, clinker, and ocean freight docking and loading services." [Bloomberg]

It is good to know that someone in USA has figured out how to use this waste product.
Bob Lalich Flickr

INRD on BRC 12-29-11

INRD is currently running petroleum coke trains from KCBX Terminal on the Calumet River to a gasification plant near Terre Haute. This shot on the BRC of an empty train on its way to KCBX was taken near 92nd and Eberhart.

1996 Art Gross Flickr of tugboats docked at the KCBX rail-to-water transfer facility.

1996 Art Gross Flickr of an overview of the loading equipment

1996 Art Gross Flickr of loader framed by the truss of the 100th Street drawbridge

1996 Art Gross Flickr of Canadian Enterprise being tugged north past the loading equipment

1996 Art Gross Flickr of Joseph H Frantz loading in the distance     a closer view    some tugboats

1997 Art Gross Flickr of Charles M. Beeghly loading at the KCBX rail-to-water transfer facility

1997 Art Gross Flickr of tugboats working at KCBX with Algorail in the background

1997 Art Gross Flickr of Charles Beeghly at night:  1  2

2012 Art Gross Flickr of Algorail passing KCBX terminals and the Manitowoc

I can't find the first article I saw on CN transloading petcoke in Indiana after Chicago effectively kicked Koch off the Calumet River. Given my cousin could not put some cabins by a lake on a farm he owns because Indiana said that would be destruction of wetlands, I don't see why CN+BP should be able to bury some wetlands with something much more polluting than cabins. Maybe BP decided to barge the petcoke to Indiana Harbor and ship it out the Seaway.
CN backs off rail yard project; groups still worry petcoke transit will harm neighborhoods

No comments:

Post a Comment