Natchez, Miss. (July 9, 2012) – Officials from Genesis Energy L.P. have announced plans to expand operations at the company’s existing Port of Natchez terminal in Natchez, Miss., to handle bitumen, a product mined from Canadian oil sands. The expansion will create 20 new jobs in the Adams County area.
“I am grateful Genesis Energy has looked to its Adams County, Mississippi, facility for these operations, and I thank company officials for creating additional job opportunities for area workers,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “Mississippi has the port facilities, transportation network and business climate needed to support energy industry growth and play an important role in meeting North America’s energy needs.”
Steve Nathanson, Chief Operating Officer of Genesis Energy, said “We are excited about the opportunity to utilize and improve our existing assets in Mississippi to help facilitate the safe and efficient transportation of North American crude oil. Genesis Energy has significant midstream assets throughout Mississippi operated by our professional and dedicated employees. We would like to thank the Mississippi Development Authority, Natchez, Inc., the Port of Natchez and Adams County for the opportunity and look forward to continuing to grow our operations in the area and the state of Mississippi.”
Genesis Energy is partnering with Southern Pacific Resource Corp. to handle and transport dilbit, a combination of diluent and bitumen, to the Gulf Coast refining market. Southern Pacific mines the bitumen in the Canadian oil sands and blends the bitumen with diluent, creating dilbit. The dilbit will then be shipped nearly 3,000 miles by rail to the Port of Natchez, where it will be off-loaded to Genesis Energy’s terminal. From Adams County, the bitumen will be transferred to barges that will deliver the product as feedstock to refineries on the Gulf Coast. In addition, Southern Pacific has the opportunity to backhaul lower priced diluent from the Gulf Coast utilizing its empty return rail cars.
Genesis Energy will ship the dilbit to refinery customers by barge or truck from the Port of Natchez, and the company will transport diluent back to Canada, utilizing the rail cars that delivered the dilbit to the Port of Natchez.
The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) worked closely with local officials to support Genesis Energy with this expansion. The agency provided assistance to Adams County for public infrastructure improvements at the Port of Natchez, and Adams County is establishing a rail car unloading system at the port to help facilitate the expansion.
Adams County will invest approximately $1.1 million in public infrastructure to establish a rail car unloading system to handle the inbound Dilbit and the outbound diluent. The Mississippi Development Authority granted $400,000 in CDBG and $700,000 in rail loan funds to Adams County to cover the necessary public infrastructure. The Genesis project will make significant use of the port facility in Natchez by moving Dilbit from their terminal through the liquid loading dock to barges and then the diluent from barges to the liquid loading dock to their tanks. One huge benefit locally is the potential to move approximately 20,000 rail cars in and out of Natchez once Genesis has reached its full capacity. Agreements were reached with Adams County, Adams County Port Commission, Natchez Railway, LLC, and Genesis. Construction of the public improvements should begin immediately once engineering is completed. The Natchez site competed against sites in Louisiana and Texas.
“We are extremely pleased to have finalized our agreements with all parties and excited to be working with Genesis to add this investment and quality jobs to Adams County. This is a really big day for our area; quality investment, quality jobs, significant port traffic and most importantly significant rail traffic. This project single handedly secures quality rail for the foreseeable future to our area. It is needless to say, but thank you to all parties and to Genesis Energy,” said Chandler Russ, Executive Director of Natchez, Inc.
“This expansion demonstrates Genesis Energy’s belief in Mississippi’s business climate and in our workforce,” said Brent Christensen, MDA executive director. “I commend the company for its continued investment in southwest Mississippi, and I am proud MDA was able to work with Natchez Inc. and the Adams County Board of Supervisors to assist with infrastructure improvements to support this project.”
Genesis Energy’s Natchez terminal is expected to begin receiving product shipments by the end of 2012. As Southern Pacific’s production increases, Genesis Energy’s operations at the Natchez terminal could result in approximately 20,000 additional rail car shipments entering and leaving the Port of Natchez each year.
Genesis Energy L.P. (NYSE: GEL) is a midstream energy limited partnership headquartered in Houston, Texas, with a diverse portfolio of customers, operations and assets, including pipelines, storage tanks, marine operations, refinery-related plants, and trucks and truck terminals. For more information, please visit www.genesisenergy.com.