Soon, natural gas will come to the Bobcat plant and Sargent County

Sep 23, 2017

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It was a number of years in the making – but MDU will be bringing natural gas to the Bobcat plant in Gwinner.

MDU will build a 21 mile pipeline from the existing Alliance pipeline – and that will bring natural gas to Gwinner,  Milnor and other cities in Sargent County. Bobcat has signed a 15 year agreement to use the natural gas.

“This was a bridge too far,” Doosan Bobcat North America President Rich Goldsbury said during a ceremony at the Bobcat plant in Gwinner. “This was something we didn’t think we could make happen. But, god darn it, we got it to happen.”

The $13.8 million project will bring natural gas to not only Bobcat, but to others in Gwinner, Milnor and the rest of Sargent County.

In an interview, Goldsbury said he doesn’t believe enough is invested in southeastern North Dakota.

“From an infrastructure standpoint, this area is underserved,” Goldsbury said. “When you think about natural gas, it’s just one component.”

Goldsbury said natural gas provides a reliable, constant, cost-effective source  of heating and power. And he said it will keep Bobcat cost-competitive.

“We compete in a global marketplace,” Goldsbury said. “Customers who want to buy our products expect them to be cost-effective. We make a nice product, but so does my competition.”

Goldsbury said natural gas should reduce the overall “cost footprint” for Bobcat.

MDU plans to start construction on the $13.8 million project next spring, with completion by next fall.