Eastern Ethanol Supply Gains a Train

Motiva Enterprises and Norfolk Southern Corporation are opening a new high-capacity ethanol terminal located at Motiva’s petroleum distribution terminal in Sewaren, New Jersey. Strategically located to serve the New York and Connecticut markets for ethanol, the terminal is the largest rail-served ethanol terminal in the New York Harbor area.

Facility expansion doubled the terminal’s capacity to 40 railcars and 2 million gallons per day. Ethanol is increasingly being used as a cost-effective octane enhancer for gasoline, and as a clean-burning replacement for MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether). A recent ban on MBTE by New York and Connecticut has made ethanol an especially critical commodity in the region. “In 2004, Norfolk Southern safely and efficiently delivered more than 160 million gallons of ethanol to the Sewaren terminal,” Tom Brugman, Norfolk Southern’s group vice president of Agriculture, Fertilizer and Consumer Products. “With the expansion, this volume will increase significantly, making this terminal location the primary distribution center for ethanol in the Northeast and a key component of Norfolk Southern’s ethanol marketing strategies.” Brugman’s department worked with transportation, industrial development and many other Norfolk Southern departments to lead the railroad’s business effort to plan and execute the Sewaren project. Modalgistics Supply Chain Solutions, a business group of Norfolk Southern, collaboratively worked with Motiva to develop network visibility tools that aid the Sewaren staff in more effective labor, equipment and inventory planning. Motiva is a refining and marketing joint venture of Shell and Saudi Aramco. The expansion included streamlining logistics to eliminate local bottlenecks, improving transit and turnaround times, improving safety and security, and improving tracking technology. Norfolk Southern Railway’s subsidiary operates 21,500 route miles in 22 states, the District of Columbia, and Ontario, Canada, serving major container ports in the eastern United States and providing superior connections to western rail carriers.
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