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Published August 28, 2014, 09:55 AM

Natural gas pipeline would serve CHS plant

One of the largest natural gas pipelines in North Dakota in the past decade is in the planning and permitting process, according to Tim Rasmussen, spokesman for WBI Energy, a division of MDU Resources Group.

By: Keith Norman, Forum News Service

One of the largest natural gas pipelines in North Dakota in the past decade is in the planning and permitting process, according to Tim Rasmussen, spokesman for WBI Energy, a division of MDU Resources Group.

Rasmussen says Wind Ridge Pipeline LLC will cost an estimated $120 million and will serve the proposed CHS nitrogen fertilizer plant in Spiritwood, N.D.

“Construction of the pipeline is contingent on CHS moving forward,” he says. “In order to meet their timelines we had to start the pre-filing process now.”

The pipeline will transfer natural gas from the Northern Border Pipeline near Zeeland, N.D., to the CHS plant at Spiritwood for conversion into nitrogen fertilizer. The 95-mile pipeline project will cross Mcintosh, Logan, LaMoure and Stutsman counties with 16-inch pipe.

Casey Bradley, Stutsman County auditor and chief operating officer, says about 36 percent of the project is located in Stutsman County. The Stutsman County share of property taxes on the project is estimated at $244,000 per year with smaller payments going to townships, school districts and fire districts it passes through.

The project remains in the planning stage, Rasmussen says. Once CHS authorizes the project, Wind Ridge Pipeline will seek easements from landowners along the route.

“Once the right of way is obtained, we trench about 3 to 4 feet deep, put down the pipe, back fill and reclaim the soil,” he says.

Construction is anticipated to begin early in 2016 with completion later that year. Rasmussen said the project is another step toward utilizing energy produced in western North Dakota.

“It’s important to utilize the natural gas that is being flared,” he says. “Anytime you can utilize Bakken gas in the state, it frees up natural gas elsewhere.”

Rasmussen says WBI Energy manages a number of natural gas pipelines in North Dakota.

“The last project (we built) of this magnitude was in 2003,” he says. “The Grasslands pipeline runs 247 miles from the Powder River Basin in northeastern Wyoming to western North Dakota.”

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