Grand Forks mayor asks lawmakers to expedite pipeline project
BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR/KCND) – Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski is asking North Dakota lawmakers to shorten the timeline for constructing a pipeline that would bring Bakken natural gas to the Red River Valley.
The legislature is considering a proposal to spend $150 million from the latest federal COVID-19 money for the pipeline, to be built along the U.S. Highway 2 corridor. Money from the state is needed to get the project going.
The pipeline is estimated to take about four years to complete, but Bochenski is asking that the timeline be shortened if possible.
Bochenski says the announcement by the Fufeng Group to build its first U.S. facility in Grand Forks was based, in part, on natural gas. Fufeng plans to be located in Grand Forks’ agri-business park. The facility is expected to initially require 25 million bushels of corn annually.
“We could lose that project. We could lose it to Iowa if we can’t get this done” Bochenski said.
Bochenski says a temporary solution is to connect to the Viking Pipeline in Minnesota, but he says there are other companies looking at Grand Forks that would need bigger supplies of natural gas.