OSCEOLA, Ark. (AP) — Plans for a rail-to-barge oil terminal in northeastern Arkansas could bring as many as 200 permanent jobs to the Osceola area.

Indigo Resources will hire 600-800 people for construction alone, project manager Tomas Puente told The Jonesboro Sun (http://is.gd/JrsMCC). He said the company will place a priority on hiring military veterans.

Located along the Mississippi River, the rail-to-barge terminal will unload crude oil and other petroleum products produced in Canada and the Bakken shale formation of North Dakota.

"River traffic is a much cheaper form of transportation," said Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore.

The 480-acre terminal will be built on 610 acres and include 3,000 feet of river frontage and five rail loop tracks, with more than 16 miles of track to accommodate 120-car trains.

"Combining rail and barge will lower the overall cost to the market," according to John Park, director of Indigo. "Due to our location, Indigo will be able to turn around the ... trains faster."

The petroleum products will be unloaded from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad onto barges traveling along the Mississippi to 14 oil refineries that Puente said are downriver from Osceola.

"There are no pipelines in existence" near the Bakkan area, "so all the oil is kind of pinned up," Puente said.


Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, http://www.jonesborosun.com