(CHATHAM, ON) – The gas utility serving the region suggests additional capacity could be available to its customers as early as Fall 2018. But first, it wants to know what is needed. It is currently undergoing a hearing exercise to listen to the needs of businesses in the Chatham-Kent area which could find advantages in new or additional natural gas distribution capacity.
This year, Union Gas is working to expand what it calls its Panhandle Transmission System to provide increased natural gas capacity to Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, and surrounding areas. This includes the fast-growing greenhouse market in the Leamington and Kingsville areas.
Additional pipeline infrastructure expansions off the Panhandle could provide additional capacity in the Chatham-Kent area to support additional economic growth in the greenhouse sector.
Its call for Expressions of Interest is the first step in its efforts to find out if an expansion project, to be built along or near a proposed new pipeline corridor, is needed. The expansion will provide up to 75,000 m3/hour of additional capacity to serve new and existing customers in what is currently underserviced area.
“The Municipality of Chatham-Kent and Union Gas have been working together for many months exploring options to serve new agricultural business customer inquiries in this area,” said Mark Isherwood, of the utility.
Chatham-Kent mayor Randy Hope is on board with the expansion. He believes it will open up his community to new economic development opportunities including greenhouse developments, which are largely concentrated west of the city.
The new gas lines, he adds, “… could supply gas service for many hundreds of acres of new greenhouses in Chatham-Kent and we have had to turn away these opportunities in the past because of a lack of natural gas capacity in the area.”