Indiana could add a fourth port to its shipping system on the site of a former coal plant in the Southeast region.
Indiana Michigan Power decommissioned its Tanners Creek power plant on the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, just west of Cincinnati, last year.
Now, a national firm called Commercial Development Company is taking on the site’s environmental liabilities, with plans to redevelop it.
They’ll work with the Ports of Indiana to see if that authority could use the site once it’s ready in 3 to 5 years. Ports Vice President Jody Peacock says the region is a gap in their system, which currently covers the Chicago, Evansville and Louisville markets.
“The one other large metropolitan area that reaches into Indiana, that is on the Ohio River and on water in Indiana, is the Cincinnati-Lawrenceburg metropolitan area,” Peacock says.
But the old coal plant isn’t just waterfront property. Peacock says it also has the infrastructure and transportation connections that help a port get steel, grain and other bulk goods from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico for export worldwide.
Indiana hasn’t added a port in 30 years, but Peacock says the existing three are big business on their own, netting $7.8 billion a year and supporting 60,000 jobs.