Genesis work to begin this month

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, August 1, 2012

NATCHEZ — Work on the Genesis Energy project at the Natchez-Adams County Port should begin this month, with the construction completing and the company’s first rail cars rolling into Natchez by the end of the year, Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said.

Currently, the county and the company are in the process of finalizing the designs for the loading and offloading system for rail cars that will be at the Genesis facility, Russ said.

As part of a larger recruitment package, Adams County will provide engineering for the Genesis Energy terminal at the port.

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“Our project, in conjunction with the port, is really the loading and unloading of the rail cars,” Russ said. “We have proposed one design, and the company has some other thoughts (for) making it more acceptable for them. It is a matter of blending the engineering together.”

Those engineering plans should soon be ironed out, and Russ said an official groundbreaking ceremony with company, local and Mississippi Development Authority officials in attendance is slated for Aug. 24.

In early July, Genesis announced a partnership with Southern Pacific Resource Corporation to transport dilbit — a bitumen product blended with diluent — to the Gulf Coast refining market from a production site in Canada.

The dilbit will be transported by rail into the Natchez port, where the product will be loaded into either trucks or barges.

Southern Pacific will then reload the cars with a diluent that had been transported from the Gulf Coast and send the cars back to Canada.

When the facility reaches its full potential, the company expects to move 20,000 rail cars through the Natchez port.

“We should start seeing train cars by the end of the year,” Russ said.

“It will be a gradual ramp up. You are not going to look up in December and see 10,000 rail cars. It is going to be a gradual increase over the next 12-15 months.”

Genesis already owned the terminal occupied by Tessenderlo Davison Chemicals in the port area.

Adams County will build the infrastructure for loading and unloading rail cars at the facility, a project that will be financed by a $700,000 rail loan from the MDA and a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant. The county will lease the infrastructure to the company, whose lease funds will be used to pay off the $1.1 million construction costs.