East Texas warms up to new Beckville cryogenic processing plant

Garry Pierce conducts a tour of the Beckville plant.

Opening of Enbridge facility another step in supporting natural gas industry's infrastructure needs

The science of cryogenics deals with an intense deep freeze, but it recently proved a hot topic at a soon-to-be-unveiled Enbridge facility in East Texas.

In early November, we held the grand opening of our Beckville Cryogenic Processing Plant in Panola County, Texas, which drew nearly 200 members of the surrounding community.

The Beckville Cryogenic Processing Plant, owned and operated by Enbridge subsidiary Midcoast Energy Partners, represents another step in our continued support of the North American natural gas industry’s ever-expanding infrastructure needs.

“Our grand opening was a great success. We hope that opening our doors this way will help our neighbors better understand our role in the safe delivery of energy, and how the cryogenic process works – and help us continue to build positive relationships in the community and the region,” says Dan Larrington, senior manager for Enbridge’s East Texas district.

The 40-acre Beckville plant, expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2015, serves the Haynesville Shale production area. It has a planned processing capability of 150 million cubic feet a day (MMcf/d) of natural gas, and is also expected to produce 6,900 barrels per day (bpd) of natural-gas liquids, such as propane and butane.

The state-of-the-art plant uses a dehydration system to remove water, and an amine treating system to remove impurities (primarily carbon dioxide) from raw natural gas. Its cryogenic processing system uses low temperatures to separate purified natural gas into methane and NGLs, says Terry Yost, a Houston-based senior project manager with Enbridge’s Major Projects division.

The Beckville plant, which had been announced in April 2013, created more than 250 jobs in the community during construction, and will supply 10 local, full-time positions once operational.

During the Beckville plant’s grand opening on Nov. 9, visitors learned about the full scope of Enbridge’s North America-wide operations, as well as our industry-leading focus on pipeline safety, and 110 guests took a full guided tour of the facility.

Teachers and students from the Beckville Independent School District (ISD) also paid a visit, with the Beckville ISD Marching Band providing a backbeat and winners of the ISD’s Importance of Energy art contest earning a pat on the back. Enbridge gave Safe Community grants to the Beckville, Tatum, Carthage, and Clayton Fire Departments, while also providing the Beckville ISD with a $3,000 grant for scholarships and a $500 grant to the marching band.

“Since the Enbridge plant is in our backyard, I believe it was good for our students and others in our community to be able to see firsthand what Enbridge will be doing here,” says Stephanie Davidson, a Grade 4 science and social studies teacher with Beckville ISD Elementary School. “I feel like this (event) gave our kids a creative opportunity to really think about how important energy is – while gaining a better understanding of what is involved in its production.”

Through our work in Texas, Enbridge connects three of the four top areas for natural gas development in the United States – and transports about 15 per cent of natural gas production in the Lone Star State.

Between our East Texas, North Texas, and Anadarko systems, Enbridge has about 11,400 miles of natural gas gathering and transportation pipelines, 22 processing plants, eight treating plants, and one fractionation facility.

We also have a 35-per-cent interest in the Texas Express NGL System, a 580-mile NGL pipeline and 116-mile NGL gathering system that runs from Skellytown to the Mont Belvieu area.