RAM Terminal is a proposed coal terminal by RAM Terminals in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The proposed site is a few miles from the existing International Marine Coal Terminal owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, and across the river from the United Bulk Terminal, which specializes in the handling of coal and petroleum coke. It would have an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes.
In 2012 RAM Terminal, LLC, applied for a coastal-use permit for a new coal terminal. The company is registered in Delaware but has the backing of Armstrong Energy, based in St. Louis, Missouri. The proposed location of the facility is along the Mississippi River on about 600 acres just off Louisiana 23 on East Ravenna Road in Myrtle Grove, a mile south of the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery. The new coal export facility would unload coal from river barges and rail cars, store and blend the product, then reclaim or transfer the coal from the ground storage to ocean-going vessels. In addition to the main coal-transfer plant, the facility also is expected to include a railroad line, a 15,000-square-foot maintenance shop and a multistory office building. Coal would come from Colorado, the Powder River Basin, and the Illinois Basin (West Kentucky).
In 2014 the Army Corps of Engineers gave the green light to build a new coal export terminal in Plaquemines Parish to RAM Terminals. In December 2014 a Plaquemines Parish judge ruled that a state Department of Natural Resources permit for the terminal is invalid and that the state must "investigate alternative sites." The Sierra Club, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the Gulf Restoration Network, and several residents had challenged that coastal-use permit for the project stating in part that it posed a health threat to nearby residents. The groups also argued the coal proposal threatened the construction of a federal-state freshwater diversion project that had been planned to run through the site.
In March 2015 the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources delayed a decision on whether to re-approve a coastal-use permit for the terminal. The department requested RAM Terminals provide further information on its assessment of alternative sites and measures to limit coal spillage into the Mississippi River and coastal areas.
- Sponsor: RAM Terminal, LLC
- Location: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana
- Proposed Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 10
- Status: Proposed
- Type: Exports
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Related SourceWatch articles
- Coal exports from northwest United States ports
- Louisiana and coal
- Washington (state) and coal
- Coal terminals
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "Environmental groups file lawsuit against coal export facility in Plaquemines Parish," NOLA, Mar 18, 2014
- Peter Moskowitz, "US coal’s new focus on exporting leaves a cloud of dust over Louisiana," al jazeera, Jan 24, 2014
- Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe “US Coal Exports: The Long Road to Asian Markets,” Oxford OIES PAPER: CL 2, March 2015
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "Plaquemines Parish proposed coal terminal an environmental disaster, some say," The Times-Picayune, Aug 14, 2013
- "Armstrong Coal RAM Terminal (Ironton / Myrtle Grove, LA): The Facts," Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition, accessed May 2015
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "Plaquemines judge strikes state permit to RAM coal export terminal," NOLA.com, Dec 30, 2014
- Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, "State says 'insufficient' information on proposed Plaquemines coal terminal," NOLA.com, March 16, 2015