May 25, 2018
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Cianbro-built refinery units arrive early at Port Arthur

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — The second load of four locally built refinery modules arrived at its destination in Texas a couple days early and now sits in traffic as other barges unload modules made in Charleston, S.C., and Tampico, Mexico, Cianbro spokesman Alan Grover said on Wednesday.

The trip from Cianbro’s Eastern Manufacturing Facility in Brewer down the Eastern Seaboard and along the Gulf of Mexico to the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, was expected to take two weeks, Capt. Tom Toolis said before leaving Brewer.

However, it took only 11 days. The modules — heavy-duty industrial steel frames filled with pipes, pumps and electronics — arrived at the refinery’s bulkhead on Tuesday, Grover said.

Toolis is the skipper of the 100-foot Emma Foss, a tugboat that guided the 94-foot-by-354-foot Columbia Boston barge that carried the modules along the 2,300-mile voyage.

“The modules will stay on the barge probably until Friday, because the port is quite congested at the moment,” Grover said in an e-mail.

With the second load in port, Pittsfield-based Cianbro Corp. has delivered eight of the 53 refinery modules ordered by Motiva Enterprises LLC, which produces Shell Oil brand products, for its $7 billion expansion.

The modules, which can be as tall as six stories and weigh 700 tons, are too big to travel by roads or rail and must be moved by water. In addition to module manufacturing facilities in Brewer, Charleston and Mexico, one in Corpus Christi, Texas, also is building modules for the Motiva expansion, which when complete will double the facility’s capacity.

“Meanwhile, back in Brewer, Maine, Cianbro crews have already completed two of the next four modules due to be shipped during the first part of August,” states the Cianbro Web site.


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