Ohio River terminal to announce massive expansion

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Government and industry officials are planning a news conference Wednesday to announce an 800-acre, $30 million expansion of Rockport River Terminals, a privately-owned shipping terminal on the Ohio River east of Evansville.

The project is expected to be an initial salvo in an ongoing expansion.

Wednesday’s announcement will discuss adding the capability of handling steel for the AK Steel finishing facility about three miles away, said Don Schulte, President of Lincolnland Economic Development Corp., Spencer County’s economic development not-for-profit.

The expansion also might allow the terminal to handle containers, Schulte said.

Historically, it has specialized in shipping coal.

A source familiar with the announcement said terminal owner Bruce Kanipe has signed options to buy 800 acres. About 600 of the acres are owned by Indiana Michigan Power, a division of Ohio-based American Electric Power, said the source, who wished not to be named.

Kanipe could not be reached for comment.

The announcement also will discuss highway transportation, the source said.

Indiana Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Sam Sarvis is expected for the announcement, as is Helen Murray, president and chief operating officer of Indiana Michigan Power.

The site near Rockport is next to a sprawling power generating plant operated by the electric company. The power plant is served by a Norfolk Southern rail line.

Several companies interesting in locating an ethanol plant have visited the area, but none will be included in the announcement, the source said.

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