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Port traffic increases with Genesis expansion

NATCHEZ — Genesis Energy expects to be handling as many as 36,500 rail cars annually at its terminal in Natchez by the end of the year.

Genesis Energy president Steve Nathanson tells The Natchez Democrat that the company has expanded its customer base at the Natchez-Adams County Port terminal since starting operations.

“We began handling cars for a second customer in July and are on track to be able to efficiently handle 100 cars per day by the end of this year,” Nathanson said.

The company broke ground on its first loading facility at the terminal last August. It announced in May it would be expanding on those initial operations. The expansion includes adding 60 railcar slots to the 40 slots that were made available in the first phase of construction.

The company’s Natchez terminal is for the loading and unloading of bitumen products shipped by rail from Canadian petroleum operations.

Genesis officials said the company is converting some onsite tanks to handle the vapors associated with moving crude oil so products from the Gulf Coast market can be directed to Canada on the cars used to bring down the bitumen.

“All of that work should be done by the end of the year,” said board chairman Grant Sims.

The petroleum products Genesis Energy handles are being moved out of the port by barge, Sims said.

“The new customer that we referenced has started bringing cars in July, and we have, in essence, a bundled service,” he said. “We unload the cars, move it through tanks, and they’ve contracted with us to use our barges to load at Natchez and take it to their refineries.”

During the second quarter 2013, Genesis, an oil pipeline and refining services company in Houston, Texas, reported net income of $26.9 million, up from $18.6 million for the same period in 2012.

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