Remember the mega-loads? Not the 200-plus oversized shipments that ExxonMobil is still waiting for approval on before sending them up to the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta. Rather, the massive coke drums that ConocoPhillips shipped from Japan, across the Pacific, up 300 miles of canals to the Port of Lewiston before rolling across U.S. Highway 12.
It was a cold February night when Citydesk first walked alongside the Conoco mega-loads on U.S. 12. Tonight the coke drums will finish the last leg of their journey to the Conoco refinery in Billings, Mont.
Conoco had initially hoped to move the massive loads in 2010. The trip was expected to take approximately two months. More than a year later, following a half-dozen legal challenges and wrangling over safety plans, the shipments are expected to reach reach their destination early tomorrow morning.
The next mega-loads chapter is still being written as ExxonMobil awaits final approval to begin moving more than 200 loads of equipment across the same route before heading north to Alberta, Canada.