Crew Hauls 140-Foot Distillation Tower to Refinery - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Transportation Crew Hauls 140-Foot Distillation Tower to Refinery

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A giant tower arrives just west of Dickinson North Dakota after traveling halfway around the world.

The 140 foot distillation tower is the main piece of equipment for the Dakota Prairie Refinery near Dickinson.

The tower left Taiwan November 3rd, then crossed the Pacific, went through the Panama Canal before arriving at the Port of Houston on December 20th.

From there it was loaded on a custom made trailer rig and began its 1700 mile journey up here to Dickinson North Dakota.

There's a wide load making its way from Texas to North Dakota.

"We loaded the vessel on December 24th and we been on the road since." says Buddy Meade, Heavy Hauls Superintendent, Energy Transportation.

A crew hauling a 140 foot distillation tower reaches its destination after nearly a month on the road.

"I've had easier but I've had worse too." says Meade.

It's hard to miss something of this size on the road, and it's been a challenge to haul it.

The driver of the big rig says their crew of about 15 people has had to watch out for power lines, make sure they follow each state's road restriction rules and take lots of extra time making turns.

"The hardest part is probably the corners, when you come up to a corner and getting around a corner, some are easy and some are really tight..." says Meade.

The energy transportation crew has hauled much bigger pieces of equipment all around the country, but at the Dakota Diesel Refinery, the arrival of this part is definitely big.

"This is the crude distillation column, so all of the crude oil that comes into the refinery will go into the crude unit first, where this column will separate that crude oil into various fractions." says Dave Podratz, Plant Manager.

It weighs well over 100 tons and because it is the heaviest piece of equipment, construction workers have to assemble a crane, just to be able to lift it.

"They're going to have it positioned within an inch or two of where they want it to be, they'll lift it up slightly, pull the truck out from underneath it and set it down." says Podratz.

All of the foundations are in place and the plan is to have the refinery operational by December of this year.

They're staying on track, thanks to the arrival of one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle.

"it's just something you don't see everyday, it's kind of exciting." says Podratz.

The only weather-related speed bump the transportation crew had from Texas to North Dakota....Some snowy weather forced the them to stop in Wyoming for around four days.

The Dakota Prairie Refinery will process 20-thousand barrels of crude oil into diesel, among other things.

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