Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway Co. today announced it will develop a new BNSF Logistics Center in Sweetwater, designed to meet the needs of a growing energy industry in the area. The new Logistics Center is designed to meet the growing supply chain requirements for energy-related commodities such as fracking sand, aggregate, pipe, clay, barite and other drilling materials in the Permian Basin and Cline Shale. The facility will also support the Texas agriculture industry. BNSF also plans to make improvements to an existing rail yard and mainline infrastructure at the rail center.
“BNSF’s $28 million capital investment in the new Sweetwater logistics facility is an investment in the rebirth of the energy industry in West Texas and of a retired, 75-acre BNSF rail yard,” said Dave Garin, BNSF group vice president industrial products in a news release. “Our objective with Sweetwater is to meet our customers’ expectations and offer expanded capacity where growth is occurring for energy and agriculture.” BNSF will be working with Cape & Son, which is expanding operations to accommodate grain unit trains as part of the plan to improve agriculture transportation services. The project will realign some of the existing track to allow for loading grain unit trains.
The Sweetwater expansion will result in 40,000 feet of new tracks, upgrading of the Sweetwater Yard track and improving the branch line that serves Central Texas. The capital improvement is part of a r$4.3 billion network-wide investment for BNSF in 2013. “The businesses in Sweetwater will gain better access to worldwide markets as BNSF brings new transportation solutions to our growing economy of manufacturing, energy and agricultural,” said Ken Becker, executive director of the Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development. “The new facility means that Sweetwater will serve as a transportation hub for the entire region as the new shales of play continue producing new wells with the bright future of an estimated 30 billion barrels of recoverable oil in this part of Texas.” The improvements are expected to be completed before the end of summer 2014.