New Jersey Utility Company Cancels Natural Gas Pipeline Project

By Jason Cockerham

(P&GJ) — A utility company planning to build a natural gas pipeline that would connect to a Kinder Morgan pipeline in southern New Hampshire has opted instead to utilize capacity on existing infrastructure. 

Liberty Utilities was planning to construct the Granite Bridge Pipeline, a 27-mile, 16-inch natural gas pipeline that would have connected to Kinder Morgan’s Concord Lateral and carried natural gas to customers across southern New Hampshire.

The company notified the New Hampshire Pub Utilities Commission in late July that the company intended to cancel the Granite Bridge project in favor of signing a 20-year contract for capacity on the Concord Lateral itself.

Initially, the company planned to upgrade Concord to allow for the required capacity but recently learned that an existing customer on the Concord would not renew its contract, freeing up enough capacity for Liberty.

The original expansion plan was expected to cost $340 million. Liberty says the new solution will cost around $90 million.

With more than 1,000 customers annually signing up for gas service in recent years, new customer load has been outpacing the gas system’s capacity to meet peak demand.

Granite Bridge was proposed in 2017 in response to the threat of a natural gas capacity shortfall in New Hampshire. Additional capacity was not available on the Concord Lateral at the time, so Liberty identified the most cost-effective solution to allow customers continued access to natural gas.

Granite Bridge would have made more efficient use of in-state infrastructure by linking two existing natural gas pipelines and would have included a storage facility. 

Liberty Utilities provides natural gas service to more than 96,000 homes and businesses in 35 New Hampshire communities, including the cities of Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Laconia, Franklin, and surrounding towns.

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