Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert
Publisher 

TransCanada talks project construction at Malta meeting

 

August 1, 2018



Construction of approximately 25-miles of pipeline is planned for creation in Phillips County by TransCanada Corp. starting in 2018 and members of the company met with county leaders last Wednesday afternoon to talk about pre-pipeline work currently underway and to be conducted before the snow flies this winter.

The Tuesday meeting was held at the Great Northern Hotel & Steakhouse and was attended by 11 members of the public including Phillips County Commissioners Richard Dunbar, Bruce Christofferson, and John Carnahan; Saco Mayor Clint Simpson; Phillips County Sheriff Scott Moran; and Malta Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anne Sautter. TransCanada Corp. employees in attendance included Greg Tencer, Pipeline Execution Manager, and Don “D.T.” Greenwood, Senior Corporate Security Advisor. TransCanada Corp. is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Tencer said the 2018 construction in Phillips County is focusing on access road work and TransCanada Corp. has been working with commissioners in this county and in Valley County to get a better understanding of what roads need improvements and will need to be maintained during the construction project. He said the road work should be finished in early September.

“In terms of pipe to prepare for the coming construction, we have to move the pipe closer to the area so the contractor has it available once the construction goes on,” Tencer said.

Tencer said there will be one pipe yard in Phillips County, at about the halfway point of the pipeline. TransCanada Corp. announced 10-years ago that hoped to cross 25-miles of land in the northeastern corner of Phillips County to move crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska where it would connect with lines to carry oil to Gulf Coast refineries. Full construction of the pipeline is expected to start in 2019 and the price tag on the nearly 1,200 miles of pipe is estimated to be $8 billion. As of 2009, the Montana Department of Revenue estimates the pipeline would bring about $4.4 million to Phillips County’s coffers annually. A work camp to accommodate nearly 800 workers is planned in Valley County’s Hinsdale and a smaller camp — to accommodate 75 workers — is planned for Phillips County, though no location has been picked.

“Towards the end of August, the contractor will be coming in to prepare the yard and they will use some local contractors to move some dirt and get things prepped up and make the berms to stack some pipe on,” Tencer said of the pipe yard in Phillips County.

Once the pipe yard is complete, Tencer said that 40-to-45 trucks per day will be bringing pipe into the site. Construction of the pipe yard (which will be fenced and house an office) is set for this September and will take an estimated three weeks to build. The pipe yard will have 24-7 onsite security as well as camera surveillance.

“The truckers are going to be rotating in and out and for the total (employees) actually at the yard, there will be less than 10 and some of those will be some local personal” Tencer said. “And the road work is being done by Knife River.”

Another part of the work to start in the fall is mowing around roads to promote nesting birds to move away from right-a-ways. The work, to start on the border of Phillips and Valley Counties, will begin near Frenchman Creek and then head south for 30 miles. Water trucks will be on hand during the mowing for fire suppression. That work is scheduled to begin in the middle of October and finish before Thanksgiving and covers only the pipeline route.

“That is the work that will be going on in 2018,” Tencer said. “This fall, we will hold another meeting just like this one where we will outline all of the details or the work to be done in 2019. We are in the process of bidding all the contracts right now.”

 

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