Following FERC approval of a customer settlement, NiSource’s Columbia Gas Transmission outlined plans for a five-year comprehensive pipeline infrastructure investment plan.
Columbia will invest $300 million per year in addition to a $100 million investment in ongoing maintenance over the 2013-2017 period on system improvements, which include:
- Replacing Aging Infrastructure – commencing the replacement of 1,000 miles of existing interstate transmission pipelines, primarily bare steel (400 miles in the first five years);
- Upgrading Natural Gas Compression Systems – replacing and modernizing more than 50 critical compressor units along the pipeline system that will enhance system efficiency and improve environmental performance;
- Increasing Pipeline System Reliability – uprating pressures and looping systems where needed to ensure gas is reliably delivered to critical markets; and
- Expanding In-Line Inspection Capabilities – facilitating Columbia’s ability to perform state-of-the-art maintenance and inspections without interrupting services.
Infrastructure investment work will take place across Columbia’s footprint, including Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. More than 7,000 direct jobs are expected to be created as a result of the infrastructure investment program. That work will cover a broad range of activities including facility engineering and design, permitting, project management and a variety of construction trades.
Columbia projects that its entire infrastructure investment plan could involve an investment of $4 billion over an extended (10-15 year) period.