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The Chemical Valley-Sarnia,Ontario and Port Huron,Michigan...

Flar: Good pics and tour of the Sarnia/Port Huron Chemical Valley -
Did you take pictures on both the Ontario and Michigan sides?
You captured the petro-chemical industrial complex well...
Hope you had no hassles from any over-zealous security-some may consider
taking pictures of this infrastructure suspiscious...
I will ask about these pics: #6-CSX in Canada noting Esso sign-where?
#23-St.Clair CN-built new river rail tunnel next to the older now-closed tunnel on the left-I wonder how they are guarded to discourage any trespassing thought...I recall stopping at a grade crossing a few hundred yards
from the Port Huron portal in 1995-Michigan posted an interesting state marker describing the tunnels...it looked quiet to me...
#30-Good price for subs(or Heros as we LIers call them)but now closed?
#43-Algoma Central laker ship owned by the rail company?
#45-Homes on coast line-where?
#46-Water intake? If not-what is this for?
Some of this complex reminds me of Niagara Falls,NY's industrial chemical complex...Long Island Mike
 
Flar: Good pics and tour of the Sarnia/Port Huron Chemical Valley -
Did you take pictures on both the Ontario and Michigan sides?
You captured the petro-chemical industrial complex well...
Hope you had no hassles from any over-zealous security-some may consider
taking pictures of this infrastructure suspiscious...
I will ask about these pics: #6-CSX in Canada noting Esso sign-where?
#23-St.Clair CN-built new river rail tunnel next to the older now-closed tunnel on the left-I wonder how they are guarded to discourage any trespassing thought...I recall stopping at a grade crossing a few hundred yards
from the Port Huron portal in 1995-Michigan posted an interesting state marker describing the tunnels...it looked quiet to me...
#30-Good price for subs(or Heros as we LIers call them)but now closed?
#43-Algoma Central laker ship owned by the rail company?
#45-Homes on coast line-where?
#46-Water intake? If not-what is this for?
Some of this complex reminds me of Niagara Falls,NY's industrial chemical complex...Long Island Mike

Only 21 is taken from the American side but there are several shots of US plants taken from the Canadian side:
#2 is the Marysville Power Plant in Marysville, MI, owned by DTE (Detroit Edison's parent company)
#7 shows the St. Clair and Belle River Power Plants, also owned by DTE between St. Clair and Marine City, MI (actually East China township)
#10 shows a closeup of the same plants as in #7
#41 is the St. Clair power plant



#45 These homes are near St. Clair Michigan, with the Belle River plant in the background

#6 This photo is right in the middle of the large Imperial Oil complex south of downtown Sarnia. The CSX line runs from Chatham to Sarnia, right through my hometown of Wallaceburg. The tracks aren't used much anymore and there has been talk of ripping them up.

#30 Yeah looks closed

#43 I'm not sure

#46 Lambton Generating Station, a coal fired plant. The water is heated by coal to become steam which spins the turbines to generate electricity. A lot of people fish around here because of the warm water.
 
All of the photos are excellent and very interesting, particularly because I was born and raised in Sarnia, and my father and several other relatives worked in the petrochemical plants there.

The photos gave me a more intimate view of Chemical Valley than I had ever been able to get even when I lived in Sarnia. Interesting to see how rusty and dilapidated parts of the Imperial Oil plant have become; it makes me wonder if that plant, too, is slated to disappear in the not too-distant future. In the Sixties and Seventies, the storage tanks at the plant were always kept in pristine condition with fresh coats of paint applied annually. The last time I was back in Sarnia, they were looking kind of sad, with lots of chipped paint and rust visible on many of the tanks.

Some people posting to this thread have raised questions about what has happened to parts of Chemical Valley. I know for a fact that the old Dow Chemical plant is completely gone, and whatever remnants are left (i.e. administration buildings, etc.) will be gone soon as well.

LanXess now operates the synthetic rubber plant that was originally known as Polysar. Not long ago, I came across an interesting little factoid about Polysar. It was indeed vital to Canada's strategic interests in World War II, because it produced over 40% of the synthetic rubber required by the entire Allied war effort.

Although it is a bit of a shame to see what Sarnia has become over the last twenty-five years. In its heyday in the Fifties and Sixties, it was a very prosperous city with lots of big-city amenities.
 
Some great pics, but I have to come in and tell you about Sarnia.

@Riverinedweller: The city isn't booming, but it's in no means in a depression. They are building subdivisions of homes worth 300-500k and higher as we speak. There are tons of potential plants about to come here and some leaving (OPG is the best example).

The population EASILY covers the work needed at plants. The CPET course is a 4 year course with co-ops to become a process operator in the plants. I work in Fort Mcmurray and they have a 6 month course for the same thing. There is a lot of work right now as all the baby boomers are retiring, but with 200+ people a year in CPET finding workers is not hard.

The city is in great shape, and is pretty decent city for it's size. The summer/weather in Sarnia is awesome. Beaches all along Lake Huron are awesome.

@Typezed: As I live in Sarnia and fly out to Fort Mcmurray I can tell you they are kind of similar, but different in a lot of ways. Fort Mcmurray has mines, which aren't in Sarnia. It's all about petroleum refining and chemical production in Sarnia, while it's mining and crude extraction in Fort Mcmurray. The population in Fort Mac says 65 k, but with so many people don't complete the census and with out-of towners like myself, the population is well over 100k. Sarnia is a larger city, while Fort Mac is busier. The roads in Fort Mac aren't big enough to support the amount of people, but they are working on it. In 15 years it probably won't be a problem.

In general I would say Sarnia has a lot more plants, and Fort Macs are bigger. There are more opportunities in Fort Mac as there are a lot of transients, but there are a lot of jobs in Sarnia if you have experience or education. You don't just get hired on at a plant like you used to be able to.


The plants in Fort Mac are a good 45 minute drive from town where I could get to my co-op in 20 minutes from the north end of Sarnia (pretty much furthest you can be IN Sarnia).

My dad worked at Dow and they did a lot for the community, great company, sucks they had to leave. Bayer/Polysar is now Lanxess and they keep expanding slowly.

I had a co-op interview at Imperial and they told me there is at least 60-70 years of oil in the ground there without any advancement in technologies. It will be open for a long time to come.

And the city is ridiculously prosperous. The quality of life I am used to is not the same in other cities and my dad was only an operator. Office workers and the higher ups in the plants make a ton. Kids are driving BMW's and Mercedes to my school (admittedly the rich school).

My gf came from Sault Ste Marie and was blown away by how much money we have here. Lots of opportunities in trades, great place to live and it''s not booming, but not busting either.
 

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