DISCUSSION: The Future of Upper Mon Commerce
Dave Bruffy, MountainLine Transit Authority
David Culligan, Brookfield Power
James Guttman, Bulk Terminal Services
Charles Minton, Campbell Barge Transportation
Jim McCarville, Port of Pittsburgh Commission
Deanne Orr, CONSOL Energy
- The MountainLine, one of 18 public
transportation authorities operating in West Virginia,
traveled a million miles last year.
- MountainLine administrators are discussing
the feasibility of establishing a "water bus"
on the Mon to connect Star City, Granville and downtown
Morgantown to help alleviate vehicular traffic on city
- Brookfield Power owns and operates about
160 hydroelectric power plants world-wide.
- The firm has filed over 60 preliminary
permits for hydroelectric facilities in the U.S. since
- The licensing process for a hydroelectric
power generating facility requires three to four years to
complete, plus time for facility construction.
- Renewable energy is the place to be.
- Bulk Terminal Services (BTS) is a 76-year
old firm with over 40 years of barge service to the
- BTS is the last such transporter operating
on the Upper Mon.
- BTS operates its own tank barges and hauls
1.3 million gallons of petroleum products per month to
tank storage in Star City for eventual sale and
- Although river transport historically has
provided a reliable means of transport, BTS must be able
to afford the cost of barging to continue its services.
- Down-time on locks will require BTS to
rely on truck-serve, which is expensive and logistically
- Coalition building among all river
users is important.
- The increasing price of coal means some
previously marginal mines will re-open - and mine
operators will be looking for new miners.
- Technical education is a growth area in
North Central West Virginia.
- We will repair the Mon's locks and
- Campbell Barge Transportation (CBT) owns
and operates 400 barges, primarily barging coal.
- The firm anticipates a shift from far-away
commodity origins to origins closer to home.
- Given Fort Martin's increasing need for
limestone, CBT suggests barging it to the station.
- The firm has noted increased interest in
barge transport among aggregate producers, whose
commodity traditionally has been trucked.
- Alternative energy opportunities may
create future business in barging ethanol and
coal-to-liquids. Container-to-barge haulage offers
additional opportunities, but logistical challenges must
- The currently undeveloped area south of
Opekiska along the Mon's banks offers a unique
opportunity for recreation/tourist development.
- A $50-$75 per-barge locking fee could add
up to 46-cents per ton to river transport costs. Cost
efficiencies will be the transporters' goal &ndash
but ultimately, consumers will pay for any taxes or fees
that increase haulage costs.