The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a favorable Environmental Assessment for WBI Energy Transmission’s proposed Valley Expansion Project, clearing the way for the project to move forward in the permitting process. WBI Energy filed its application with FERC earlier this year, requesting authorization to construct, install, operate, and maintain natural gas transmission facilities in Clay County, Minnesota, USA, and Cass County, North Dakota, USA.
Specifically, WBI Energy plans to construct approximately 37 miles (59 km) of 16-in. (406-mm) diameter natural gas pipeline from an interconnect with the existing Viking pipeline near Felton, Minnesota, to a new electric-driven compressor station to be constructed near Mapleton, North Dakota.
The new compressor station will consist of a 3000 hp (2238 kW) electric-driven compressor unit and associated facilities, and will be tied into Line Section 24 on WBI Energy’s integrated system.
The pipeline will transport natural gas with bidirectional flow capabilities and will span across the state border from Clay County, Minnesota, into Cass County, North Dakota. Auxiliary facilities, including communication and odorization equipment, will be installed at the interconnection with Viking. Two mainline block valves will be installed along the pipeline as well. WBI Energy will also install new pig launcher and receiver facilities at each end of the pipeline.
WBI Energy is also proposing to replace its existing Apple Valley town border station located in Burleigh County, North Dakota and its Jamestown town border station located in Stutsman County, North Dakota, and to construct a new regulator station near Sanborn, North Dakota, in Barnes County.
When completed, the project will provide an additional source of natural gas to fuel growth in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota as well as enhance system reliability for existing and new customers. As proposed, the project will allow WBI Energy to provide approximately 40,000 dekatherms per day of incremental firm transportation capacity.
The estimated capital cost of the project is US$57,300,000 with a target in-service date of November 2018.