Mammoth Transshipment Terminal Links Montana Coal to Michigan Power Plant

by A. Tobey Yu, (M.ASCE), Pres.; ORBA Corp., Fairfield, N.J.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


In 1973 Detroit Edison contracted with the Decker Coal Company for 200 million tons (181 Tg) of Western low-sulphur coal over a period of 26 years to meet its requirement for low-cost, long-term fuel for its power plants. This article describes the creation of the mammoth Superior Midwest Energy Transshipment Terminal, which was completed in the scheduled two-year period — one year less than normally would have been required. It tells of the innovative schemes, quick thinking, and many firsts in civil engineering needed to make it possible; of the decision and reasons for selecting the land-water route for transporting the coal; of the problems involved due to lack of soils and hydrographic data, environmental pressures, and weather conditions.

Subject Headings: Coal | Power plants | Freight transportation | Decks | Benefit cost ratios | Scheduling | Innovation | Computing in civil engineering | Montana | Detroit | Michigan | United States

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