CRU Logistics LLC opened its third frac sand transloading facility in south Texas. The terminal, known as its "light model" is located at the Alamo Junction Rail Park (a dual-served industrial park) in Elmendorf; placing it within 50 miles of the Eagle Ford's core counties.
The "light model" is an innovative design that will provide the efficiencies of a silo facility (such as a 3-minute truck load out) while decreasing capital costs; thus lowering the per tonnage cost of transloading. The facility includes 2,500 ft. of track over two separate under-rail pits, a bucket elevator rated at 400 tph and a covered truck scale. The design of the facility lends itself to the addition of silos and 5,000 ft. of track within 60 days.
CRU was the first independent frac sand silo facility developer/operator in the Eagle Ford, building two, 3,600-ton silo facilities in Victoria, Texas, in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Since inception the Victoria plant has transloaded more than 2.3 billion lbs. of frac sand, of which 1.5 billion (50 unit trains) were transloaded through a 3,600-ton pack of silos over the past year.
"The original plan was to copy/paste one of our Victoria facilities at Alamo,” said Bryant Tenorio, general manager of U.S. Terminals, when asked about the change behind CRU's strategy. “We knew from experience that a 3,600-ton six pack could efficiently move 140 million lb. a month; however, the unexpected downturn in the market forced us to get creative. We knew customers would be looking for ways to save money in the immediate future with the ability to grow once the market bounced back. We expected the industry would be long on railcars so we decided to use them as rolling silos versus building stationary ones. In the end, we retain the quality of service we are known for while providing a lower cost to our customer."