The 2013 shipping season was a record-setter for the Port of Monroe (located on Lake Erie and bisected by the River Raisin, the Port of Monroe is Michigan’s only port on the Lake). Nearly 2.2 million metric tons of cargo was handled by the port, marking what is seen as the beginning of a period of revival.
Port Director, Paul C.LaMarre said: "In 2013, we had 97 vessel calls: 81 to DTE Energy's Monroe Power Plant carrying bulk, three carrying project cargo (two of which were Seaway tonnage), and 13 liquid asphalt cargoes to Michigan Paving & Materials. Additionally, we have established ourselves as a leading industry advocate in multiple legislative forums and are placing the sustainability of our industry as a whole before all other interests."
The ability to receive materials and equipment by vessel is critical for thecontinued operation of tenant Monroe Power Plant. The plant requires approximately 8.5 million tons of coal per year, and one-third of that volume is delivered by ship. "Over the last 10 years, we have relied on vessels to deliver most of the modular components to be used in the construction of emissions control systems that are making the Monroe Power Plant one of the cleanest operating coal plants in the country," explained
Andrew S. Dobrzanski, manager of fuel supply for the Plant. "These components are too large to transport by rail or truck, so being able to receive them by ship has been key to our ability to minimize cost and schedule impacts on these major installations."
Onsite developments at the Port include a 23-acre general cargo facility which will have 3,000 feet of waterfront and double-track rail on dock. This will be known as the Port's "Riverfront Dock." The port will also be installing a rail spur into tenant Ventower Industries, which is now operating at full capacity. These two rail projects represent roughly $2 million in port/rail improvements to be constructed in 2014.
The Port of Monroe is slotted to receive an additional US Army Corps of Engineers $510,000 toward maintenance dredging of their waterway. LaMarre was pleased with that news: "This allocation is proof positive that our industry lobbying efforts have been successful. In addition, we will also be conducting comprehensive maintenance dredging along our turning basin dock for the first time in over 20 years."