Western Coal Shipments Through Great Lakes Ports Could Expand Dramatically

To comply with pollution restrictions that go into effect in 1995, several electric utilities and industrial power plants along the Great Lakes are considering using low-sulfur Western coal, which would mean a big surge of business on the Great Lakes.

Fred Shusterich, general manager of Midwest Energy Resources Co., a Superior, Wis., terminal operator that handles most of the Western coal shipped on the Great Lakes, said: "We believe we could have about a 50 percent increase in business in the next few years." Midwest Energy Resources is drafting engineering plans to expand its terminal from its present yearly capacity of 12 million tons to 18 million tons.

Other ports and terminals around the Great Lakes are also studying moves that would enable them to capitalize on the anticipated boom in Western coal usage.

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