Farm Progress

Consumers Energy dedicates $8.3 million station to enhance gas reliability for Thumb customers.

January 11, 2017

2 Min Read
NEW STATION: Dedicating Consumers Energy’s new Huron natural gas compressor station Dec. 15 are (from left) Jim Byrum (left), Michigan Agri-Business Association; Carl Osentoski, Huron-Sanilac Economic Development Corp.; Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy; and Jim McCloskey, with Sen. Mike Green’s office.

Consumers Energy dedicated a new $8.3 million natural gas compressor station Dec. 15 to meet future growth and the unique demands for natural gas in Huron and Tuscola counties.

An unusual situation in the fall 2014 challenged the natural gas system when colder-than-normal temperatures, combined with excess moisture, resulted in a longer grain drying period for agribusiness customers in this area. The company worked with the Huron and Tuscola counties’ Economic Development Corporations to identify customers’ potential future expansion plans. A compressor station was determined to be the most timely, cost-effective solution.

A natural gas compressor station uses an engine to compress natural gas and increase its pressure so additional quantities can be moved through pipelines for delivery to residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial customers. Located on a 3-acre rural site at 3520 Bay Port Road in Sebewaing, the compressor station is installed within a 1,900-square-foot building. A 1,035-horsepower engine inside the building will operate on demand to provide consistent natural gas pressure.

“Agribusinesses are key customers in the Thumb, especially during peak demand times like harvest and fall grain drying that require larger amounts of natural gas, and the proactive effort by Consumers Energy to construct this new compressor station will benefit every user throughout the region,” says Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “The new compressor station will help ensure adequate natural gas pressure is available for all Thumb customers, including agribusinesses that are a strong economic engine throughout the region.”  

The new compressor station will provide an additional $50,000 annually to Sebewaing Township’s tax base.

Nearly 17,500 employee hours were required to build the new compressor station. Keeping its Pure Michigan Business Connect commitment to use Michigan-based businesses whenever possible, Consumers Energy employed 12 companies from throughout the state during construction.

Source: Consumers Energy

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