New natural gas line is helping ND businesses

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A natural gas pipeline that was built to serve a southeastern North Dakota ethanol plant is being tapped to serve other customers.

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. built the 16-mile line to provide gas to the U.S. BioEnergy plant near Hankinson. Now the North Dakota Public Service Commission has agreed to allow MDU to serve other natural gas customers from the line.

A flour mill and two grain elevators have expressed interest in buying natural gas for their operations.

Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin Cramer says he hopes it’s a trend to make natural gas more widely available in rural parts of eastern North Dakota. He says once a few large customers are in place, it might make it easier for MDU to find other buyers.