SALEM — Documents recently filed with the federal government illuminate Algonquin Gas’ plan to build a natural gas pipeline from Beverly Harbor to the Salem Harbor Station site.
The 16-inch, 1.4-mile long pipeline will eventually bring up to 115,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day to the proposed Footprint Power plant on Fort Avenue. Algonquin anticipates having the pipeline operational by late 2015; the plant is slated to open the following June.
Known as the Salem Lateral, the proposed pipeline will begin at an underwater connection with Algonquin’s HubLine Pipeline in Beverly Harbor, then run southwest until it makes landfall near the facility that stores liquefied natural gas on Pierce Avenue in Salem.
The pipeline will then head along the edge of the facility’s property adjacent to Waite Street before crossing Collins Cove. After it makes landfall again, the line will head through David J. Beattie Park, cross Fort Avenue and Derby Street, and then enter power plant property, where it will terminate at a metering station that will also be built as part of the project.
Total construction time is estimated to be seven months, beginning next May, with working hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week, according to a recent report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by Spectra Energy, Algonquin’s parent company.
Some of the most technically demanding parts of the pipe installation will be crossing two bodies of water: Beverly Harbor and Collins Cove. In both locations, Algonquin will use a technology known as a horizontal directional drill, or HDD.
“The HDD method is a trenchless installation process by which the pipeline is installed beneath obstacles or sensitive areas utilizing equipment and techniques derived from oil well drilling technology,” Algonquin wrote in the report.
“The process commences with the boring of a pilot hole beneath the water body to the opposite bank and then enlarging the hole with one or more passes of a reamer until the hole is the necessary diameter to facilitate the pull-back (installation) of the pipeline.”