At present, coals received at the terminal originate in the Powder River and Hanna Basins. The coals are low sulfur coals possessing a heating value from 8700 to 11,500 BTUs per pound as shipped. Midwest Energy Resources Company also has the ability to source high BTU low sulfur coals from Colorado, Utah, and British Columbia.On the average, thirty Detroit Edison and MERC owned aluminum train sets of 123 cars each transport the coal from the mines to the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal. The unit trains travel the 1,000 mile route in approximately two days carrying 14,000 tons of coal each trip. Rail service is provided the terminal by both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroads.The unit trains enter the 200 acre terminal site via a 3.5 mile perimeter track. Movement and unloading of each unit train is accomplished using a remote controlled car indexer and rotary dumper. The car indexer pulls the entire train forward to position each railcar onto the rotary dumper. Special swivel couplings on each railcar allow the individual railcars to be turned upside down and unloaded without uncoupling. The unit trains are unloaded at a rate of 5,000 TPH. Coal can be conveyed directly to vessel or to the storage pile for additional blending and reclaim at a subsequent date.Coal reclaim and blending is accomplished using a series of nine variable speed rotary plowfeeders situated under the coal storage piles. The plowfeeders can traverse the entire length of the storage area. Plowfeeder coal blending and selective coal reclaim is controlled through a sophisticated computer based system making possible virtually any blend proportioning for up to three dissimilar qualities of coal.
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