The agreement is the first of its kind between a public port and public utility for the complete management and marketing of a plant produced by-product. The volumes of synthetic gypsum produced at Monroe Power Plant amounts to 400,000t to 600,000t annually.
Port of Monroe said the deal will ensure the continued growth of outbound cargoes and tonnage increases across the port’s docks.
The port also received the first commercial port funding from the State of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, under which the Michigan Strategic Fund will loan the port authority over US$3Mto construct new dock facilities with deeper draught along the ports riverfront.
Port director, Paul C. LaMarre III said: “The port’s continued growth and subsequent state investment is proof positive that cargo breeds cargo, and that domestic lakes shipping is as vitally important as it has ever been.”
Bulk cargo shipments at the Port of Monroe have remained steady as the port continues to diversify its operations.
Coal is delivered by 1,000ft vessels from American Steamship Company and The Interlake Steamship Company to DTE’s Monroe Power Plant multiple days per week.
Domestic vessels (Lakers) also deliver limestone twice monthly for the plant’s scrubbers. “In what can only be described as the perfect cargo scenario, the limestone is transformed into synthetic gypsum and then transported by Pere Marquette Shipping to multiple wallboard and cement manufacturers,” stated the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership.