The Madisonville, Ky.-based company is awaiting the permit this spring. As soon as it arrives, on-site work will commence on the new Four Rivers Terminal, projected to handle about 10 million tons of coal annually, according to John Hunt Jr., the company’s vice president of engineering. Hunt said engineering work is well under way on the project whose estimated nine-month construction period means Four Rivers should be shipping coal sometime in 2014. Building the terminal on the riverfront site is expected to require the services of approximately 60 workers.

SCH currently operates the Calvert City Terminal on the lower Tennessee River in far western Kentucky. Calvert City, with a throughput of more than 11 million tons a year and 2 million tons of ground storage capacity, added rail-loading capability last year with the completion of a load-out system capable of loading up to 150-car unit trains. The terminal is served by the Paducah and Louisville Railway, which gives it ready access to both western and eastern railroads. SCH said the addition of rail-loading capabilities at Calvert City solidified the terminal as a leading full-service bulk-materials handling facility on the U.S. inland river system.

The Four Rivers Terminal, ideally suited for export business, was several years in the making. The McCracken County Fiscal Court, the county’s elected governing body, rejected SCH’s rezoning request for the project in early 2011. Afterward, SCH moved the terminal’s planned location to a nearby site that already was zoned industrial, eliminating the need for local rezoning approval.