LP Gas

Minnesota rail terminals to offset some lost Cochin supply

Two more rail terminals in Minnesota are now capable of handling more propane, just in time to meet demand for the upcoming heating and crop drying season.

CHS announced the completion of an expanded propane rail terminal in Glenwood, Minn.

Local officials, political dignitaries and CHS representatives took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Tours of the new facility were also conducted.

“CHS invested in this terminal expansion as part of a broader $24 million investment to develop a robust supply network for propane marketers in the northern-tier region affected by the Cochin pipeline reversal,” said Drew Combs, CHS vice president of propane, in a press release.

“Propane is an essential commodity for our grain farmers and livestock producers,” said Dave Frederickson, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. “This facility responds to Minnesota’s need for a nearby supply while reducing the risk of shortages, which threatened too many farmers last winter.”

Served by the CP railroad, the new terminal can hold 1.35 million gallons of propane storage. It has the ability to unload eight railcars every 4.5 hours, and its two truck-loading bays are capable of loading six trucks per hour. The secure terminal, which uses modern automation and safety technologies, is now serving customers, according to the press release.

CHS owns the expanded terminal, and CHS Prairie Lakes, a CHS service center based in Starbuck, Minn., operates it.

The expansion of a propane rail terminal in Rockville, Minn., which Wenner Gas Co. of Cold Spring, Minn., operates in cooperation with CHS Inc., also is complete.

According to the Minnesota Propane Association (MPA), the Rockville terminal has 640,000 gallons of propane storage and is capable of unloading up to 30 railcars per day. MPA adds that the terminal is built to load six transports per hour and that the facility will soon be fully automated with 24-hour access.

The terminal is expected to help provide reliable supply for customers affected by the Cochin Pipeline reversal.

CHS signed an agreement late last year to create a limited liability company with Wenner Gas to enhance storage and service capabilities at the terminal.

In addition to these two projects, Alliance Energy Services recently announced its new rail terminal in Benson, Minn., is sized to deliver between 30 and 40 percent of the volumes the Cochin Pipeline previously supplied on the same site. The Benson terminal is capable of unloading up to 32 railcars per day and storing about 1.53 million gallons.