In this paper we deal with the NP-hard problem of finding a configuration of a flow line such that the net present value of cash outflows for installing and maintaining the flow line is minimized. As a special case, minimizing the number of stations is also treated. Lower bounds are derived using column generation. Also, two heuristics are presented. One heuristic is based on the result of the column generation procedure while the other is adapted from the so-called majority merge heuristic. A computational study proves that the feasible solution obtained on the basis of column generation requires a decidedly lower investment budget.