CHS Inc., the nation's biggest farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, said it is investing an additional $20 million in 2014 to strengthen refined fuels supply dependability and flexibility for its customer network.
The projects include the final phase of an ongoing replacement of the company's refined fuels pipeline between Billings and Glendive, Mont., and a new pipeline connection at Council Bluffs, Iowa.
"These 2014 projects bring to more than $55 million the CHS investment over the past three years in our north central U.S. supply and distribution infrastructure to help our owners capture growth in diesel and other refined fuels," said Jay Debertin, CHS executive vice president and chief operating officer, Energy and Foods. "The projects we've completed already have contributed to strong Cenex-branded fuel growth for our customers in the northern tier region."
Debertin said the pipeline replacement project not only supports its continued reliability, but also includes improvements to existing pumping stations. These will boost delivery capacity and enable CHS "to better adapt to the operational and market challenges that are inevitable in our business," he said.
The recently completed Council Bluffs project connects the National Cooperative Refinery Association's (NRCA) pipeline system which runs between McPherson, Kan., and Council Bluffs, Iowa; to the NuStar pipeline which serves much of eastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota. Debertin said the connection improves CHS ability to utilize NuStar terminals in Jamestown, N.D., and Aberdeen, S.D., to serve refined fuels customers. CHS owns 84 percent of NCRA and will become its sole owner in September 2015.
Since 2011, CHS also has:
- Increased refined fuels storage and added a four-lane truck loading rack at its Minot, N.D., terminal
- Added rail car unloading and new load arms and pumps at Glendive, Mont.
- Begun construction of a new refined fuels terminal at Laurel, Mont., expected to be complete in spring 2014
"Combined, these supply and distribution investments – supported by projects at our Laurel, Mont., and McPherson, Kan., refineries; and our purchase of the remaining ownership in the Kansas refinery, and our CHS Transportation team – create an even stronger refined fuels network dedicated to meeting our customers' needs," Debertin said. "As we move forward, we'll continue to make investments that help our customers capture opportunity."