The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has approved the continuation through next year of an Elizabethtown Gas utility infrastructure upgrade program, which has already replaced nearly 47 miles of cast iron pipe and constructed two major interconnect projects totaling about 24 miles of new pipeline in Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon counties.
The program, which was originally approved by the BPU in 2009 (see Daily GPI, April 17, 2009), accelerates capital expenditures for projects designed to enhance the safety, reliability and integrity of the natural gas distribution system while creating jobs in New Jersey, the AGL Resources subsidiary said Monday. To date the project has cost approximately $68 million and created more than 100 jobs.
The extended program will allow Elizabethtown Gas to continue replacing aging infrastructure and provide reinforcements to the distribution system. The company expects to spend about $40 million to complete infrastructure projects between now and the end of 2012.
The original approval from the BPU two years ago came as part of a $956 million package of projects that five of the state's major gas and power utilities submitted in response to a call for expedited infrastructure spending as a means to stimulate New Jersey's economy. In addition to the one from Elizabethtown Gas, BPU approved proposals from New Jersey Natural Gas ($71 million), Public Service Electric & Gas Co. ($694 million), South Jersey Gas ($103 million) and Atlantic City Electric ($28 million).
Elizabethtown Gas provides natural gas delivery service to about 276,000 residential, business and industrial customers in New Jersey.
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