Page 4 - Elements-Fall2012
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“CEC helps us move that could also reduce the impact on local will add three large deethanizer units to
road networks from heavy truck trafc. The strip ethane out of the raw natural gas.
things forward. answer? Rail. By mid-2013, when new regulations take
efect, the Houston site already will have
On August 10 of this year, the company
That’s a partnership, started loading and moving rail cars in one unit up and running, removing ethane
in my mind.” and out of a rail yard built in Westland, before the natural gas enters distribution.
two miles from the Houston plant. The large “By increasing the capabilities of the
rail yard can store 200 cars and load 12 at Houston site, MarkWest is able to pass
a time, with plans to load 24 in the future. through time and cost savings to our
Cars then traverse a 4.5-mile stretch of new customers,” says Robert McHale, MarkWest’s
rail to the Wheeling & Lake Erie main line for Environmental Compliance Coordinator.
broad distribution. “It was a monumental CEC’s goals were simply to enable
day for MarkWest in the Marcellus play,” MarkWest to get down to business in the Sweet Spot
said Joe Lex, a senior project manager Marcellus Shale and to do whatever it takes
whose focus is on all Houston operations. to keep MarkWest competitive. “We look
“To be a major midstream company, you to CEC as a partner in fnding the best sites
have to be able to move large volumes and the best way to utilize the land we have
of liquid, and the new rail facility allows at Houston or at greenfelds we’re currently
us to do that.” Purifed products now get developing in Pennsylvania, West Virginia
to market faster and more efciently—to and Ohio,” said Lex. “Previously, there was
Canada, the East Coast, overseas, and not always a great deal of thought about
eventually to the South.
Right On The Houston facility is now the largest where to put a plant, but now CEC helps
us to really optimize the siting of a facility.
CEC helps us move things forward. That’s
natural gas liquids fractionation, storage,
TRACK and marketing complex in the northeast a partnership, in my mind.” n
United States, and it enables MarkWest to
accommodate the full midstream process
in this region. But MarkWest was looking
MarkWest quietly launched rail to do more than accommodate. New
operations in its Liberty Segment,
taking a signifcant amount of trafc developments in the Liberty Segment
of the road. Once a day, 30–50
tankers bringing purifed natural
gas liquids to market roll along a In an intricately choreographed routine, the yellow
4.5-mile stretch shared by walkers track mobile moves six cars into and out of both sides
and bicyclists. of the loading rack at MarkWest’s new rail yard.

To ft a narrow footprint, CEC had
to be creative with the geotechnical
engineering component. A variety
of earth retention structures were
designed and built, and geogrid-
reinforced slopes were made steeper
to avoid stream and wetland impacts
or, in some cases, to accommodate
the necessary grade of the rail.

The trail was born of an agreement
with the Montour Trail Council, a
local nonproft that manages a
46-mile trail system. MarkWest
ofered to build the new trail while
situating their railroad next to it—an
investment beneftting MarkWest’s
customers, the community and the
environment. n

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