Frontier Energy, North Carolina’s newest gas utility, beganflowing gas in Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. “With more than50 miles of newly installed gas main pressurized, we’re officiallyup and running,” said Andrew Rea, chairman of Frontier Energy. “Injust eight months, we were able to complete the first phase of oursystem and start serving customers.”

Frontier Energy is a partnership between Sempra Energy UtilityVentures and Frontier Utilities of North Carolina, which isprincipally owned by ARB Inc. of Lake Forest, CA. Other partnersinclude Industrial Gas Services Inc. of Wheat Ridge, CO, andPipeline Solutions Inc., with headquarters in Glenwood Springs, CO.Ground was broken on the North Carolina system in April. Thetransmission portion of the system is expected to take two years tocomplete, with the majority of the distribution system beingbuilt-out over five years. Frontier Energy’s first customer isWayne Farms.

With certificates to deliver natural gas to sevencounties-Surry, Wilkes, Yadkin, Watauga, Warren, Ashe andAlleghany-Frontier Energy plans to hook up as many customers aspossible before the end of the year. “To date, 80 miles of gassystem pipeline has been installed,” said Joe Rivera, vicepresident of operations for Sempra Energy Utility Ventures. “Whencompleted, more than 170 miles of steel transmission pipe and 730miles of plastic distribution pipe will be in operation. Our $55million natural gas delivery system, which we believe to be thelargest new start-up gas utility in the United States in the past30 years, will eventually serve approximately 150,000 customers inthe state.”

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