WBI Energy, Inc.'s Wahpeton Expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This authorizes the company to construct and operate a natural gas pipeline expansion in eastern North Dakota, which will provide more natural gas to customers in Wahpeton and extend natural gas service to Kindred. WBI Energy is a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc. (MDU).
"We appreciate the commission's approval of this project, and the recognition that it will bring much-needed additional natural gas supply to customers and communities in eastern North Dakota," said Rob L. Johnson, president of WBI Energy. "Reliable natural gas service supports economic development and is a critical heating fuel in the region."
For the project, WBI Energy will construct approximately 60 miles of 12-inch natural gas pipeline and ancillary facilities to Wahpeton from an existing compressor station at Mapleton, North Dakota. The expansion will provide an additional 20 million cubic feet of natural gas capacity per day and is expected to cost approximately $75 million. WBI Energy expects to begin construction in early 2024 and have the pipeline in service in late 2024.
The additional capacity will allow Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., another MDU Resources subsidiary, to serve industrial and commercial customers in Wahpeton that have contracts for approximately 10 million cubic feet per day of firm natural gas service, with the remaining capacity used to serve additional residential and commercial service. Demand for natural gas service currently exceeds the current volume of gas that can be delivered on an uninterruptible basis to the city through the existing transmission pipeline.
"We are excited to hear that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved this project and additional natural gas service will soon be available for Wahpeton," said Wahpeton Mayor Brett Lambrecht. "Our city is a premiere location for value-added agricultural businesses, and reliable natural gas service gives us the ability to further grow our economic resources."
With the additional pipeline capacity available, Montana-Dakota Utilities also will expand natural gas utility service to Kindred, at the request of city officials and residents.