North Albany propane storage plant growing

Times Union | April 4, 2014 | Column by Brian Nearing

Global Partners facility adds five tanks in $2.6M project after review

The Global Companies propane facility on Friday April 4, 2014 in Albany, N.Y. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union) Photo: Michael P. Farrell


The owners of a 540,000-gallon propane storage facility in North Albany near interstates 90 and 787 are expanding the site, with five large holding tanks being added to the six already there.

Global Partners started receiving rail shipments of propane at the facility in April 2013 after the project was approved by the city Zoning Appeals and Planning board earlier that spring. The $2.6 million project also was reviewed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Albany police and fire officials to ensure that it met anti-terrorism standards.

On Friday, numerous workers, a crane, and five bright new storage tanks were visible at the facility. Asked about the project, a Global spokesman said the expansion had been discussed by the company with its investors since the fall of 2013.

The spokesman had no additional information, but in November the company reported shipments of propane and butane into the storage facility were "running ahead of expectations," according to the company website. Shipments arrive on railroad tank cars on the Canadian Pacific Railway on a single line directly from Midwest and Canadian sources.

The propane is brought in by rail and loaded into the storage tanks, which are buried under a mound of earth. There's also room on an existing rail siding at the site for a dozen tank cars.

Michael J. Yevoli, city development and planning commissioner, said the city's initial approval of the project covered up to six tanks to start, and up to six more tanks to be added later. The expansion is being done under that permit.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has no oversight over propane tank storage.

The area immediately around the facility is largely vacant, with the two interstate highways to the north and east, a National Grid regional headquarters and vehicle storage area to the west, and several warehouses to the south. Projected truck traffic volume at the facility is between four and thirteen per day, depending upon the season.

Global Partners also operates an oil terminal at the Port of Albany that has become a major transshipment point for Bakken crude.

Plans by Global to add boilers and heaters at the facility to make heavy crude easier to pump and ship have sparked opposition from area residents.

[email protected] • 518-454-5094 • @Bnearing10

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.