April 3, 2013

Dakota Plains Pioneer Project to move oil from New Town

Dakota Plains Pioneer Project to move oil from New Town
By Jerry W. Kram
Dakota Plains Holdings Inc. is thinking big things are coming for New Town.
The company already has four existing half mile long tracks where it loads Bakken crude for shipment on the Canadian Pacific Railroad to refineries across the country. The company is expanding and presented their ambitious plans to the New Town City Council last week.
Dakota Plains calls its plan the Pioneer Project. It will involve building two 8,300 long loops of railroad track in the quarter section between the city and the New Town Airport west of College Drive that will be used to load oil onto unit trains. Each track can accommodate 120 rail cars, said company president and COO Gabe Claypool.
“What this facility will do is get the trucks off of Highway 23,” Claypool told the city council. “It will serve as a gathering point for all of the oil on the peninsula (south of New Town). They will be able to bring their trucks up from the south so they won’t have any reason to get on the highway.”
The site will have two 90,000 barrel storage tanks. Claypool said the tanks will be “short and fat” - just 28 feet tall - so as not to pose a hazard to planes landing at the airport. The shape of the tanks will also minimize problems from soil compaction. The tanks will have an internal floating ceiling to minimize emissions of volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. Claypool added that the facility will have a VOC collection system to trap emissions and pipe them to an incinerator.
“The facility will have 90 percent fewer emissions of VOCs than trucks,” Claypool said.
The site will also include a ten tank car load out building, ten truck stations and five pipeline interconnections. Claypool said the company will use its existing four 2,500 foot tracks to unload incoming supplies such as fracking sand, pipe and diesel fuel. Ten workers at the existing facility will be moved over to the new loading facility and new staff will be hired.

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