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EMH&T Engineers Dream Big: Harrison Hub Fractionation Facility Boasts Many “Big” Features

As we continue to celebrate Engineer’s Week, today we look at EMH&T’s Harrison Hub Fractionation Facility project in Harrison County, Ohio.

By any standard this facility is big. The plant is 1.2 miles long and a half-mile wide and processes 90,000 barrels of natural gas liquids each day. At 594 acres and incorporating a rail yard with 10 miles of track, it is the first fully integrated gathering, processing, and fractionation facility in operation in Ohio and is the biggest midstream service complex in the state.

With a tangle of pipelines, processing towers, and storage tanks, a fractionation facility is not only big, but also complex. Thousands of miles of pipeline gather “wet gas” from various wells and bring it to the fractionation facility where it is separated it into propane, butane, ethane and C5+ (or natural gasoline). From there, the separated products go into on-site storage tanks, before being loaded into trucks or railroad tank cars to be transported to various downstream suppliers.

A facility such as Harrison Hub requires extensive transportation systems to provide the necessary ingress and egress for trucks and rail. To accommodate the over 100 transporting railcars per day, EMH&T engineers designed a massive rail infrastructure that was built in tandem with the fractionation plant. EMH&T provided professional civil/rail engineering services as well as surveying, environmental, archaeology, and stormwater services. Over 1.5 million cubic yards of earthwork was moved to accommodate the facility and its infrastructure.

EMH&T designed over 50,000 track feet of rail infrastructure to maximize loading operation by allowing pre-staging and pre-sorting of cars. The Harrison Hub facility was initially designed to load 120 tank cars per day, but was expanded to load another 120 cars per day shortly after beginning operations. EMH&T also provided design, observation, and coordination with Ohio Central Railroad to perform two mainline track relocations, which provided two mainline connections to the facility.

EMH&T professionals permitted nearly 10 acres of wetlands and protected over 2,200 feet of stream through the Ohio EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers to allow for site expansion. In addition, our team was called upon to provide phase 3 cultural resources services after construction activities turned up Native American artifacts within the processing pad footprint. EMH&T archaeologists completed their work with little to no impact on the construction schedule.

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