Proposed pipelines expected to bring more than $100M to parish

Map of IMTT’s proposed pipeline route from St. Rose to Norco.

IMTT outlined plans for a proposed project to install three pipelines to transport renewable diesel from St. Rose to Norco.

Parker Schonekas, IMTT project development manager, told the St. Charles Parish Council at the May 6 meeting that they wanted to “communicate openly and transparently with our neighbors and the residents and businesses along the pipeline route.”

Although Schonekas did not identify the customer that the pipelines would connect to or project cost, he did say “two of the pipelines will transport products to support the expansion of an existing production facility in Norco.”

Additionally, he said these pipelines would bring more than $100 million in capital investment to St. Charles Parish. He added the project would create four to six new permanent jobs at IMTT and create hundreds of construction jobs.

Work is expected to begin by January and last five to six months, he said. An estimated four months of that time would be near neighborhoods.

The planned pipelines would go into an existing 600-foot-wide corridor posing minimal impact. They would extend through Ormond Subdivision and the New Sarpy area.

One of them will transport agricultural oils, including animal fats and plant-based oils, he said. The second pipeline will transport renewable or “green” diesel.   The third proposed pipeline will transport black oil, which is a byproduct from crude oil refining.

All the proposed pipelines will be in an existing pipeline right-of-way and be parallel and adjacent to several existing, active pipelines, he said. Pipeline installation, maintenance and operations will comply with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and state Department of Transportation regulations.

They will be buried with no signs of operation.

Councilwoman Marilyn Bellock asked about the potential of leakage.

[pullquote]“There is little chance of leaking. They are fairly benign products.”   — Parker Schonekas[/pullquote]

Schonekas said the two pipelines would carry used cooking oil from places like McDonald’s processed into renewable diesel, he said.

“There is little chance of leaking,” he said. “They are fairly benign products.”

He added the lines would be inspected frequently.

Construction impact will be minimal, Schonekas said, adding they would pose little impact to the surrounding residential areas or wetlands.

“IMTT and its contractors will horizontally directional drill the pipe, which only requires a small rig and pad for installation on one end and a pipe string on the other end,” he said.

Where needed, the company will dig trenches and lay the pipeline in a more traditional construction process.

Councilman Dick Gibbs, whose district includes Ormond, said he supports the project, but wanted to know what type vehicles would be coming into the area.

Although the contractor hasn’t been chosen yet, Schonekas said they were anticipating two drilling machines and flatbed trucks delivering the pipe. He said he’s met with the leaders of the Ormond Civic Association to advise them of potential impacts from the project. Once access routes and the construction plan is defined, IMTT will solicit approval of the association and Gibbs.


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