The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is currently handling one of the biggest
single cargoes in the port’s 40-year history.
According to a statement released today by the Ports of Indiana, a 388-ton
electrical transformer has arrived on the ship Beluga Recognition
from Cordoba, Spain, and was translated at the port onto the largest railcar
ever to enter the facility.
The transformer was loaded onto a 20-axle railcar for its trip to Ottawa,
Ill., for installation at the Exelon Corp.’s LaSalle County Nuclear
Generating Station. The plant supplies electricity to Chicago and northern
Illinois. The combined weight of the railcar and transformer is over 1.3
million pounds, or 650 tons. The transformer is currently being stored at
the port until final delivery to the LaSalle County station in the near
The transformer was unloaded from the ship by the port’s terminal operator,
Federal Marine Terminals, and a 16-man crew from the International
Longshoremen’s Association. Specialized Rail Transport is handling the rail
loading and transportation of the transformer to Illinois.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in project cargo shipments this year,”
said Peter Laman, port director at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “This
port has all the components a shipper would want to see for handling large
cargoes—a world-class terminal operator, one of the most productive
longshoremen labor units on the Great Lakes, sufficient draft for large
ships, transload capabilities between rail, ship, truck and barge, and
plenty of indoor and outdoor storage. Just take a look around our port
today—we’ve got over 15 acres of wind turbine components, and more are on
Through July, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has handled nearly 70,000
tons of project cargo shipments and a 52-percent increase in overall port
tonnage versus the same period in 2009.