When it comes to setting up natural gas service on a rural property, the costs can be quite a bit. During the SARM convention last week, Dallas Tolles, a councillor for the R.M. of Cymri said he had been quoted $63,000 for a 1200-metre line to his property.

Dustin Duncan, the Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy, didn’t have enough information to answer that specific question during the bear pit session but did note the volume of natural gas used on some farms can be quite high, which can impact what is needed in terms of infrastructure.

“What we’re seeing in terms of grain dryers, the requests from farmers to install grain dryers… They’re much larger than we would have seen 10 and 20 years ago,” Duncan explained to Discover Weyburn. He pointed out there are two key challenges that go into the process – the amount of natural gas supply available in an area, and the distance from the supply of gas to where the producer needs it.

“Oftentimes the requests are coming from farmers that are in pretty remote areas,” Duncan said.

The minister explained the proposals he has seen come forward from farmers in recent years have costs of $20,000 to $40,000, with some higher, and some lower, based on the availability of supply and the distance of the line. There is the thought of how long there will be a high demand, especially for grain dryers.

“It’s a lot of infrastructure that has to go into place that may only be used for a couple of months or a couple of weeks throughout the growing season,” Duncan stated. “The average grain dryer today is using about as much natural gas as a community the size of Kenaston or Mortlach as a couple of examples, so it’s a pretty significant volume of gas.”

While the costs can be high, Duncan reiterated SaskEnergy is happy to work with producers to help find solutions to what they need on the farm.