CN looks to increase crude shipments to Louisana, terminal increasing capacity

CHICAGO, United States of America – Canadian National Railway Co. plans on shipping more Alberta crude oil to Louisiana as it sets its sights on developing new markets near the Gulf of Mexico.

The Montreal-based railway (TSX:CNR) said Thursday it has teamed up with LBC Tank Terminals which will increase storage capacity by 160,000 barrels at its Sunshine facility in Geismar, La.

CN said it also plans on transporting more chemicals from the Chicago area to the LBC Sunshine facility, which houses several petrochemical industries.

The LBC Tank Terminals operation is situated near two large heavy crude refineries in Geismar.

The expansion, which is expected to finish by October, will increase storage capacity at LBC’s Geismar facility to nearly three million barrels.

In 2012, the railway moved more than 30,000 carloads of crude by rail, and hopes to double that amount this year.

“Louisiana terminals on the east shore of the Mississippi River are a good fit for heavy crudes,” said Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN’s chief marketing officer.

“CN provides direct, efficient single-line service from northern Alberta to the Gulf Coast, and we are pleased to be working with companies such as LBC Tank Terminals to move heavy crude oil volumes to the Gulf for our customers.”

Last week, the railway appointed veteran employee Jim Vena to chief operating officer. The position had been left vacant when Keith Creel left to work at rival Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP).