Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. (MichCon) Thursday announced a two-year project to install a new gas pipeline in West Michigan that will increase supplies and help meet future demand spurred by residential and business growth.

Construction of the 16.3-mile 30-inch diameter Jamestown Pipeline will begin in June and be completed in the 2008 construction season. It will run through Ottawa and Kent counties, Jamestown and Byron townships, and the cities of Wyoming and Kentwood.

"This project, in addition to providing western Michigan with an ample natural gas supply for years to come, will also enhance the safety and reliability of the gas supply to the southern Grand Rapids area," said Jerry Norcia, MichCon executive vice president. "By installing a new pipeline in an existing utility right-of-way, we will minimize the impact to the environment and the potential for third-party damage."

About 92% of the pipeline will be built in an electrical transmission tower right-of-way, which also will minimize the construction impact to traffic on local streets and highways.

The $70 million project will provide immediate economic benefits and long- term property tax benefits. In addition to the pipeline, the project will involve construction of a meter and odorization station in Hudsonville, a pressure-reduction station in Byron Township and two additional interconnections to the MichCon distribution system.

MichCon filed its application for the project with the Michigan Public Service Commission on Jan. 16. A spokesman said the company will include the project in its next rate case.

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