A $1 billion construction project could bring increased access to natural gas to millions of homes and more than 2,000 jobs to the Eastern Pennsylvania region.
PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC of Wyomissing said PSEG Power LLC, a subsidiary of the Public Service Enterprise Group, is the latest company to join a project to develop a 100-mile pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey that would transport lower cost natural gas produced in the Marcellus Shale region to homes in Eastern Pennsylvania.
The project is designed to provide natural gas service to 4.7 million homes, up to 1 billion cubic feet per day.
If approved, the pipeline would begin in Luzerne County in Northeastern Pennsylvania and end at Transco’s Trenton-Woodbury interconnection in New Jersey.
In Pennsylvania, the preliminary route would run from Luzerne through Carbon County, Northampton County and Bucks County.
PSEG, based in Newark, N.J., is the fifth member company sponsoring the project, said Patricia Kornick, project spokeswoman for PennEast Pipeline Co.
“PSEG Power LLC will have a 12 percent interest in PennEast and the other PennEast Pipeline Company members each will have a 22 percent interest,” Kornick said this morning.
PennEast was formed by the partnership of AGL Resources, NJR Pipeline Co., South Jersey Industries and UGI Energy Services, which combined are investing nearly $1 billion to build the pipeline.
Since this is an interstate natural gas pipeline, the project needs multiple levels of approvals, including local, state and federal.
PennEast has begun preliminary engineering studies, and will file a formal application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2015.
On Oct. 1, the company plans to do a pre-filing followed by the formal filing in the spring of 2015, Kornick said.
UGI Energy Services is the project manager for the development of the project and will operate the pipeline.
“We anticipate construction starting in early 2017 and for the line to be in service in late 2017, Kornick said.
PennEast Pipeline Co. is planning to schedule open houses possibly for the week of Nov. 10, to discuss the project and allow the public to ask questions. The meeting places have yet to be determined, she said.
Aside from providing greater access to natural gas, the project would benefit the region’s economy, according to Kornick.
“Historically, there has been a very strong economic benefit,” Kornick said. “We will be using a local construction workforce as feasible. “Throughout the construction phase, we are anticipating 2,000 job opportunities.”
PennEast expects construction to last seven months.