A construction build-out plan announced by Summit Natural Gas of Maine Wednesday proposes bringing access to natural gas service to more than 2,400 residents of central and southern Maine this year.
That would bring Summit's residential and business natural gas customer total in the state to about 10,000, the company said. The expansion would include several neighborhoods in Augusta, Cumberland, Fairfield, Falmouth, Waterville and Yarmouth. Construction is scheduled to begin in April, weather permitting, and would continue through the summer and fall.
"Summit is continuing its 10-year investment in Maine by bringing a new fuel option to the region and giving families and businesses the ability to choose efficient, cost-effective and reliable natural gas," said Mike Tanchuk, president of Summit Natural Gas. "We have taken a hard look at our approach to construction and greatly improved our planning, oversight and scheduling process to ensure we meet the deadlines and commitments we make to the communities we plan to serve. We're now working to secure the customer commitment needed to make our construction plans a reality."
From 2013 to 2018, the first five years of Summit's 10-year plan in Maine, the company expects to invest about $460 million in infrastructure and create more than 400 jobs (see Daily GPI, Jan. 14, 2013). Last year, Summit made the final connection for its 68-mile steel backbone gas transmission pipeline between Pittston, ME, and Madison, ME, a key step in its plans to distribute gas to 17 communities in central Maine (see Daily GPI, April 22).
The Maine Public Utilities Commission in September approved the creation of Natural Gas Conversion Co. (NGC) to provide a process for converting residents and businesses to natural gas (see Daily GPI, Sept. 17, 2014). NGC is headed by Summit Chief Strategy Officer Tim Johnston.
Summit Natural Gas of Maine is a subsidiary of Summit Utilities Inc., which operates 20 natural gas districts throughout Colorado and Missouri. The company also specializes in providing natural gas to areas that are either difficult to serve, or those that are not being served at all.