Frontier Energy Begins North Carolina Gas Flow
Frontier Energy, North Carolina's newest gas utility, began
flowing gas in Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. "With more than
50 miles of newly installed gas main pressurized, we're officially
up and running," said Andrew Rea, chairman of Frontier Energy. "In
just eight months, we were able to complete the first phase of our
system and start serving customers."
Frontier Energy is a partnership between Sempra Energy Utility
Ventures and Frontier Utilities of North Carolina, which is
principally owned by ARB Inc. of Lake Forest, CA. Other partners
include Industrial Gas Services Inc. of Wheat Ridge, CO, and
Pipeline Solutions Inc., with headquarters in Glenwood Springs, CO.
Ground was broken on the North Carolina system in April. The
transmission portion of the system is expected to take two years to
complete, with the majority of the distribution system being
built-out over five years. Frontier Energy's first customer is
With certificates to deliver gas to seven counties Frontier
Energy plans to hook up as many customers as possible before the
end of the year. "To date, 80 miles of gas system pipeline has been
installed," said Joe Rivera, vice president of operations for
Sempra Energy Utility Ventures. "When completed, more than 170
miles of steel transmission pipe and 730 miles of plastic
distribution pipe will be in operation. Our $55 million natural gas
delivery system, which we believe to be the largest new start-up
gas utility in the United States in the past 30 years, will
eventually serve approximately 150,000 customers in the state."
In January Energy Pacific and Frontier Utilities formed Frontier
Energy to build the system. The announcement followed one in
October of a joint venture between Energy Pacific and Bangor Hydro
to provide distribution service to greater Bangor, ME. Frontier
Energy interconnects with the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline
(Transco) near Salisbury, NC.
Joe Fisher, Houston
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