Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handling cargo for $1 billion Michigan power plant • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handling cargo for $1 billion Michigan power plant

Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor
The parts for a $1 billion power plant project in Michigan are passing through the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. (Photo provided by the Port of Indiana)

One of the largest shipments being handled by the Port of Indiana will pass through Burns Harbor.

A total of six ships, carrying more than 600 parts for a $1 billion power plant project in Niles, Michigan for the Indeck Niles Energy Center will utilize the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to get the equipment to its final destination. The components include items, which are more than 600,000 pounds and 100-feet long,

The first of the six vessels arrived in Burns Harbor on June 29. The others will pass through the port by the end of August. Port officials said the largest piece being shipped to the deep-water port is a 613,000 pound, 100-foot-long, 12-foot high heat recovery steam generator.

“We have seen an uptick in large project cargo shipments this year for power plants and wind energy components, but the size and scope of this project make it one of the largest shipments in our port’s 50-year history,” said Ian Hirt, director of the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “It is not every day you get to see our port companies and labor force handling 600 pieces of cargo for one massive power plant project.”

The shipments will traverse halfway around the world before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The cargoes are arriving on the vessels BBC Florida, Timgad, Freida, Calypso, BBC Mont Blanc, and BBC Greenland. Each shipment takes approximately two months to arrive at its final destination.

“The project volume, totaling 25,000 cubic meters, is comparable to 10 Statues of Liberty,” Hirt said. “Watching cargoes this large move through the port is awe-inspiring.”

Federal Marine Terminals (FMT), the port’s general cargo stevedore, will unload the large project cargo from vessel utilizing works from the International Longshoremen’s Assoc. and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

The cargo will be transloaded from the vessel to the port’s storage yard on an 84-axle truck, before being trucked to the final destination at the natural-gas power plant site in Michigan.

The Indeck Niles Energy Center will be a next generation fueled by natural gas. The construction on the power plant began in August 2019 and is expected to operational by March 2022.


  • Larry Avila

    Larry is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience working with daily newspapers and business-to-business publications around the Midwest. Avila is a Michigan native and a graduate of Central Michigan University.

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