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Using idled pipeline, new company seeks to bring propane to the U.P.

white propane tank in backyard
Carolyn Franks
Adobe Stock

One of the major arguments against shutting down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline is that it supplies propane to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula. A new company plans to use an existing pipeline to ship propane from Sarnia to the Gaylord/Kalkaska area.

Niel Rootare started a new company called Silver Wolf Midstream. He says his idea is to get propane to northern Michigan much more efficiently via an idled pipeline.

“There would be a really great solution if we could remove or reduce our reliance on trucking from Sarnia/Marysville to bring propane more accessible to the middle of the state and the northern half of the state. We may very well eliminate this anxiety over our propane supply,” Rootare said.

From there, he says getting propane to the the U.P. is not that difficult.

“Our access point for the folks in the northern half of the state is near the Gaylord/Kalkaska area. And from that point to get on I-75 and go over the bridge, we think that we have a serviceable market for the Upper Peninsula.”

The existing 225 mile long pipeline carried ethane to Sarnia. The pipeline flow will have to be reversed which will take some work. He expects to close the deal on the pipeline before the end of the year. Then it’s a matter of the transition of the pipeline and getting government the permits.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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