Chesapeake Utilities Corp. subsidiary Eastern Shore Natural Gas Co. (ESNG) launched a nonbinding open season earlier this month to test support for increasing capacity on its system and expand natural gas service throughout Maryland and in part of Virginia.

The Market Hub Services and Pipeline Expansion Project would include bidirectional upgrades at existing interconnects with the Texas Eastern Transmission, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line and Columbia Gas Transmission interstate systems, ESNG said Monday. The interconnects are in southeastern Pennsylvania and would allow customers to source supply from the interstate lines with access to natural gas produced in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

“This supply diversity allows for participating shippers to take advantage of evolving market pricing differentials from various supply points,” ESNG said on Monday of its proposal. The market hub services project would expand the availability of gas to communities and businesses that currently have no service on the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland and Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The project would also expand the company’s service area to Virginia. ESNG’s 455-mile interstate pipeline currently transports gas to customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. The company last year invested more than $100 million for its 2017 System Expansion Project to expand facilities in all three states.

The market hub services project would build on last year’s work and expand the system’s “capacity, deliverability, reliability and diversity of natural gas supply in the region,” said ESNG President Stephen Thompson.

The firm capacity additions would be phased in with proposed in-service dates of Nov. 1, 2020; Nov. 1, 2021; and/or Nov. 1, 2022, the company said. For information, visit the company website and/or complete the online open season shipper nomination form, which is due by March 30.