Report Volume XXIX, Number 4 October 15, 2017

October 10, 2017

INDUSTRY NEWS (Houston, TX) – Kinder Morgan one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, has received green signal from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Utica Marcellus Texas project. The project cost is estimated at $412 million.

The project involves alteration of 964-mile of natural gas pipeline to transfer natural gas liquids from the northeast United States to Texas. The NGL system having a capacity of 430,000 barrel per day is expected to use infrastructure on the company’s Tennessee Gas pipeline system. Construction of 200 miles of new pipeline is a part of the project. The pipeline would be linked to a header system that will be accessible to storage sites near Mont Belvieu.

Kinder Morgan expects the project to be commissioned in fourth-quarter 2018.



INDUSTRY NEWS (Houston, TX) – Kinder Morgan has increased the capacity on a new natural gas pipeline that it estimates will cost more than $1 billion to build.

The Gulf Coast Express pipeline from the Waha hub in West Texas’s Permian Basin oil field to Agua Dulce near Corpus Christi will now stretch 450 miles, 20 miles longer than originally planned when it was announced in March. The company confirmed that the pipeline’s capacity has increased nearly 13 percent, from 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day to 1.92 billion cubic feet a day.

The project is expected to cost more than $1 billion, according to company spokeswoman Melissa Ruiz.
Kinder Morgan announced recently that it had signed a letter of intent with Denver-based natural gas pipeline and processing company DCP Midstream and an affiliate of Houston-based natural gas and crude oil pipeline and storage company Targa Resources Corp.

DCP Midstream and Targa Resources would each hold a 25 percent equity interest in the pipeline, the companies said. Kinder Morgan will build and operate the pipeline and own the remaining 50 percent interest. Ruiz declined to say who will be paying for the project’s costs.



INDUSTRY NEWS (Tulsa, OK) – National Park Service cites safety and versatility among major considerations when deciding on concrete lifting system manufactured by Tulsa-based Vacuworx to handle recent renovation of South Portico stairways at the White House.

Vacuum lifting technology has made its way to the White House as part of the National Park Service’s historic renovation of the building’s South Portico steps. The $1 million project, which included dismantling Truman-era staircases and installing carefully selected cuts of Missouri limestone, was completed between August 5 and August 30, 2017.

Jessica Gordon, an exhibits specialist with NPS’ Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC), said a material handling solution that incorporated a Vacuworx MC Series Vacuum Lifting System proved advantageous as crews pulled two base stones weighing approximately 2,400 lb. each, and set a total of 46 new slabs. Each new South Portico step – there are 21 located on the east and 21 on the west – are approximately 10 in. long, 7 in. deep and 20 in. wide. The four new landing stones are 11 ft. long, 7 in. thick and 6 ft. wide. Gordon worked directly with Vacuworx to rent an MC 5 lifter and three custom pad assemblies. The carrier equipment was rented from Extreme Steel & Rigging, based in Warrenton, Virginia.
The MC 5 operates using a self-contained diesel engine. When activated, the system pulls a vacuum between the pad and object to be lifted, providing a powerful positive seal. Eliminating the need for straps, Gordon noted, saved crews nearly 8 hours as she estimates that method would have required an additional 10 minutes per limestone step during the installation process. The application of vacuum lifting also mitigated the risk of chipping the top-grade material by prying on it with a bucket or fork, she said, and curbed the possibility of damaging an adjacent patio on the South Lawn.
“We’re moving, fitting, lifting, spreading the mud and laying it down,” Gordon said. “All the re-handling; it adds up. With the remote operation, we can safely pick up and maneuver materials without compressors, hoses or other accessories presenting trip hazards. What really sold us is that everything is self-contained, in one unit.”

Timing of the South Portico project overlapped a remodel of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that was facilitated by NPS and the General Services Administration. The $3.4 million project was completed in August and included the replacement a 27-year-old HVAC system along with renovations of the Navy Mess kitchen, West Wing lower lobby and IT system. According to the White House, these renovation plans had been approved by the previous administration.

The NPS’ Frederick, Maryland-based Historic Preservation Training Center focuses on maintaining and preserving icons of historical and cultural significance throughout the United States. Gordon said that the agency handles about 35 to 40 projects a year, among its three divisions: Masonry, Woodcrafting and Carpentry. The scope of its masonry work includes 10 to 15 jobs a year, she said, with the typical project cost ranging between and estimated $50,000 and $400,000. According to Gordon, “Our work is project-based, so the rental option works well for us. Versatility is a major consideration.” Vacuworx Vacuum Lifting Systems were also used by NPS to help rehabilitate the steps that guide visitors to a memorial building at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

The South Portico was originally constructed during the Monroe administration in 1824. New steps, constructed of Missouri limestone with a concrete base, were erected in 1952, during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. Springfield-based Phenix Marble Co. quarried the newly installed limestone. “The NPS has been handling maintenance projects at the White House since 2001,” Gordon said. “It’s enjoyable to be part of making history.”

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