Investing in More Rail Storage
By: Jake Oldenburg, VP Operations
“With more rail storage we’ll have greater flexibility and not have to rely as much on trucking.”
Fortunately, NuWay-K&H’s membership, board and leadership team is not only looking at today or next year—but at the future. We’re making plans to serve our customers long-term, and also to grow and become more efficient.
Global events like COVID have changed what we need to commit to for the next growing season. We either know that because of customers who commit to purchases ahead of time or by looking into our crystal ball—which is sometimes cloudy.
So, even as the 2023 cropping season progresses, we’re taking inventory and adding storage to make sure we have the stuff on the floor that our customers will need and, hopefully, have committed to.
Currently, we’re adding another 90,000-gallon propane storage tank at our Welcome rail facility. This additional storage will give us flexibility, especially as we get into fall corn drying and the beginning of the heating season. We’ll be able to move more propane into and out of that rail storage and not have to rely on trucking as much. We’re making this financial investment not necessarily for this fall but for the future.
We’re doing prep work for that 90,000-gallon tank in June by constructing the piers the new tank will sit on. The tank itself will arrive sometime in September. Depending on how fast we’re able to get it set and plumbed, we may be able to use the additional storage in the fall of 2023—but for sure in future years.
ANHYDROUS AT ORMSBY
This summer, we’re also reconfiguring and adding more anhydrous ammonia (NH3) storage at Ormsby. This project kicked off right after the 4th of July.
We’re adding a new 30,000-gallon tank and taking out two 12,000-gallon tanks from the 1960s, so we’re effectively upgrading the NH3 storage at Omsby and adding 6,000 gallons of capacity. By rearranging the tanks, we’re also making room for an additional 30,000-gallon tank in the future. Besides rearranging and swapping out the tanks, all the underground plumbing will be new. With the reconfiguration, the process of filling NH3 wagons will be faster and safer than in the past.
In May, we demolished the old dry fertilizer plant at Ormsby. Today, we’re working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and consultants to voluntarily clean up the soil under the plant. We’re excavating that soil into a pile which will be land-applied this fall. We didn’t have to do this, but we thought it was the right thing to do. This cleanup process should be done by the time you read this blog post.
Another project we’re working on at Welcome is our liquid self-service terminal. We’ve added two 30,000-gallon liquid fertilizer tanks to our dike. This increased storage capacity, along with a 24- hour unmanned terminal, will allow customers with authorization and training to access these tanks and pick up their own fertilizer after hours and on weekends.
We’ll test this system ourselves this summer and most likely offer it to our customers next spring. Check with your NuWay-K&H Agronomy account manager if you’d like authorization to pull your own fertilizer.
As I said, we’re continuing to make investments and improvements to our products and services, not just for this year but way beyond. Our board and leadership team is always looking at what we need to do next. We want to be a player in the retail energy and agronomy business far into the future.