Sempra Energy now has three start-up gas distribution operationsin development or in planning stages in North America with theannouncement yesterday that it will compete for gas distributionfranchise rights in Nova Scotia. The company said it intends tofile an application with the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Boardto build a gas distribution system capable of serving all areas ofthe province. Nova Scotia has a population of about 900,000. Sempraexpects to hire local contractors and workers to build the newdistribution company, called Sempra Atlantic Gas, which willdeliver production from the Sable Island Offshore Energy Projectstarting next fall.

“Sempra Atlantic Gas has the experience and financial resourcesto bring low-cost natural gas to Nova Scotians in the quickest timeframe possible,” said Andrew Rea, president of the Sempra Energysubsidiary. “We look forward to participating in the regulatoryprocess to determine who will be awarded the natural gasdistribution franchise rights.”

The Utilities and Review Board plans to hold hearings nextspring to determine which company should be selected to hold theprovincial franchise and then make recommendations to theprovincial cabinet, which will make a final decision on the matternext summer. Three other companies, including Scotia Advantage, apartnership of Consumers Gas and Nova Scotia Power; Sask Energy;and Maritimes NRG are expected to compete with Sempra for thefranchise rights.

In addition to Nova Scotia, Sempra subsidiary Frontier Energy isbeginning gas service to 150,000 homes and businesses in aseven-county area in North Carolina this week. And through itsBangor Gas partnership with Bangor Hydro, it is breaking ground inMaine for a distribution system that will begin service next fall.

Sempra is the largest energy distributor in North America with21 million customers and six million gas and electric meters.

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