A Berks County-based joint venture led by UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of Montgomery County-based UGI Corp., today announced plans to construct a $1 billion, 100-mile natural-gas pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC said the new line, which would serve 4.7 million homes, will begin in Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania and end at Transco’s Trenton-Woodbury interconnection in New Jersey.
The proposed route runs through Carbon, Northampton and Bucks counties in Pennsylvania, and Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey.
UGIES, which has its operations center in Wyomissing, is the project manager for the development of the project and will operate the pipeline.
“In response to the abundant supplies and low price of natural gas, customer demand has increased significantly,” said John Walsh, president and CEO of UGI Corp., also the parent company of UGI Utilities Inc. in Berks County. “This project serves to meet that growing demand in the Mid-Atlantic marketplace, while providing greater system resiliency and reliability for local utilities.”
This past winter, natural gas prices in New Jersey traded as high as $100 per dekatherm. Natural gas in the area that PennEast will access traded in the range of $3 to $4 per dekatherm. The proposed pipeline will help reduce this price volatility to the benefit of New Jersey’s nearly 3 million natural gas consumers, according to PennEast.
PennEast said it plans to begin preliminary engineering studies in the coming months, along with a formal application before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If all local, state and federal approvals are timely approved, construction of the pipeline could begin in 2017.
The pipeline would take about seven months to build, according to PennEast. The project is estimated to create more than 2,000 jobs, as well as other ancillary jobs.