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Dakota Plains to open expanded crude terminal in North Dakota next week

Dakota Plains Holdings Inc.'s Pioneer Terminal expansion in New Town, N.D., is nearly finished and will be commissioned on Dec. 18, the company announced last week.

The $50 million project includes a double loop track to accommodate two 120-car unit trains, a high-speed loading facility designed to handle 10 rail cars simultaneously, and transfer stations to receive crude oil from local gathering pipelines and trucks. Canadian Pacific will serve the loading facility.

One gathering pipeline already is in service and is expected to handle about 8,000 barrels per day, Dakota Plains officials said in a press release.

Construction also continues on a $15 million frac sand terminal the firm is jointly building in New Town with UNIMIN Corp. To open in May 2014 and be served by CP, the terminal will feature 8,000 tons of fixed sand storage space, an enclosed transloading facility and four ladder tracks. Interim frac sand transloading is expected to start in January while construction of the permanent facility continues, Dakota Plains officials said.

The Dakota Plains/UNIMIN joint venture recently secured its first third-party marketer frac sand shipment for January. The customer will use its own rail cars to augment the joint venture's fleet, said Dakota Plains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig McKenzie.

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