Bradford County natural gas conversion plant to solve stranded gas problem
A new natural gas conversion plant in Bradford County will liquefy natural gas for transport by truck instead of pipeline. This gas previously was stranded in Pennsylvania due to regulatory resistance to new pipeline construction in neighboring New York state.
New Fortress Energy have begun civil site construction for their 40-acre plant along Route 6 in Wyalusing Township, Bradford County.
“The proposed plant will receive locally produced natural gas and process it into LNG,” company spokesperson Jake Suski said in an e-mail.
“Because of the lack of pipeline structure in the US, we’re forced to do LNG,” Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko explained.
Regulatory delays and moratoriums on new gas hookups in New York and Massachusetts have stalled the construction of pipeline infrastructure that would have carried Marcellus gas to Northeastern markets.
The New Fortress Energy plant will liquefy natural gas by cooling it to -260 degrees Fahrenheit, Suski wrote. This process makes it easier to transport the gas to consumers who aren’t connected to a pipeline.
The company estimates that once the plant is complete, as many as 15 trucks per hour will travel to and from it.
Commissioner McLinko said that Route 6 commuters should not expect any significant delays or traffic pattern changes.
“The Planning Commission of Wyalusing township did a traffic study,” Commissioner McLinko said.
Construction of the plant will create an estimated 500 temporary jobs.
“New Fortress Energy is using several local contractors to complete various aspects of the project, including the civil site work currently underway,” Suski said
Some of that work included reclaiming an old dump site and hauling the contents to the Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority, Commissioner McLinko said.
Once operational in 2021, the company will employ about 50 permanent employees.
“The full time jobs will be a mix of highly skilled laborers, process engineers, administrators and other positions,” Suski wrote.
In addition to transporting LNG by truck, Commissioner McLinko said that the company may one day use the nearby railroad.
“They’re near the railroad and they’re a railroad company. The hope will be that it will be done by rail but there’s a lot of regulations,” Commissioner McLinko said.
“We are excited that this investment will help to create good-paying jobs and support the local energy economy for years to come,” Suski said.