Residents north of Kenton will notice that the Harpster to Lima Marathon pipeline project has entered a new phase.
Marathon Pipeline Commercial Development Manager Jason Stechschulte talks about the project, "So the Harpster to Lima project is really just a piece of Marathon's pipeline buildup plan for the Utica and Marcellus shale. What we're doing in 2017 is we're expanding a couple of existing pipelines, and then we will be building a new pipeline from Harpster to Lima, which will be a 50 mile, 12 inch system, and really what it will do is it'll tie in the refineries in Western Ohio in Lima also in Toledo there's two refineries and then further throughout the midwest, so this is a critical piece for Marathon Pipeline."
As to what residents in the area can expect, "If you look, you'll see there are stakes out in the fields, and along the right of way. What we've done so far is we've worked with landowners, so Marathon as acquired 100% of the right of ways. we've achieved all of our permits. We have a construction yard here in Kenton. Most of our pipe is stored there. A lot of our equipment. So what will be happening here, and it actually started last week, is some tree clearing. This pipeline for the most part is co-located with an existing Marathon pipeline, but there are some trees that need to be cleared, so that started last week. Here this week, we'll begin grating work, so getting the ground ready, and then we'll be bringing the pipe to the site. That will be going on here for about the next four months or so and then we anticipate to bring the pipeline into service in mid 2017."
When completed, Stechschulte talks about how consumers will benefit, "Once this pipeline comes in place, the Utica will have more efficient means, and that is via pipeline, and more economical and safer to get to these various destinations."
In a related story, protesters were at the construction yard on U.S. 68 just south of Kenton today.
A labor union from Ashtabula, Ohio is protesting Marathon Oil for hiring a non-union contractor for the pipleline project.
Marathon company representatives told WKTN that they sent the project out for bids and all bids were reviewed as is company policy, and the best and lowest bid was accepted.