Construction is expected to start by May on a proposed 250 Mmcf a day natural gas processing plant on a site near the Montana-North Dakota Border and be in operation by the end of the year.

The plant is already being assembled in modular units in Texas and will be moved to Williams County. The actual site for the new plant has not yet been designated but the contractor, Outrigger Energy II, has also started work to tie it to a 70-natural gas feeder pipeline running from Tioga.

Outrigger said the processing plant could be expanded to 450 Mmcf a day and will also tie in with the new ONEOK Elk Creek NGL pipeline. The company signed a long term deal with XTO Energy and a drilling contractor.

Alex Woodruff, Outrigger’s senior vice president of business development, said the company will seek permits from the ND Public Service Commission. He would not disclose the cost of the project but similar gas plants have been built for in excess of $500 million.