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Union Gas hosts pipeline replacement open house

by Kyle Reid

Union Gas is proposing to replace approximately 61 kilometres of the Windsor Line natural gas pipeline, and held two information sessions on Wednesday and Thursday of last week to inform the public about the proposed project, in addition to gathering feedback.

  The natural gas pipeline, which currently serves a large area of Windsor-Essex and part of Chatham-Kent, is proposed to ensure the continued integrity of the pipeline; some of which is nearly 50-years-old, according to Sean Collier, who is the Union Gas District Manager for the area of Windsor-Chatham.

  “This line is just at the point in its life where it’s time to replace the existing pipe,” Collier said about the project during the information session held at the Ciociaro Club Wednesday evening.

  Currently, the line, which stretches from Windsor to the Port Alma Gate station in Chatham-Kent, services some 450 customers. The proposed project will involve replacing the current eight and ten-inch diameter pipeline with new 6-inch diameter pipeline, which operates at a higher presser.

  Collier said the reasoning to replace the existing line with smaller pipe both for economic reasons — the smaller line is cheaper — and to set the stage for further growth of the entire Windsor Line system in the future.

  The proposed pipeline route runs from the Sandwich Compressor Station in Tecumseh, near the intersection of Essex County Road 46 and the 8th Concession. The line will then follow County Road 46 to Rochester Townline in Lakeshore, and then run along Lakeshore Road 309, until it reaches Kent Road 1 in Chatham-Kent.

  The reason for the information session, Collier said, is to consult with the public and receive feedback from area residents about the proposed route. As it is currently planned, some portions of the current line run through private property, and Union Gas is hoping they can move those portions of the line away from private properties and back onto County road allowances through consultations with residents and County officials.

“For the most part, we’re just trying to confirm that we can do that, and the County supports it, and Lakeshore, and Tecumseh, and the homeowners,” Collier said.

  Collier said the project, as it is currently proposed, is estimated to cost around $88 million. He said that it will create openings for good-paying construction jobs in Windsor-Essex.

  “Anytime you invest $88 million into the community, it’s a positive thing,” Collier said. “It creates jobs; that’s money coming back into the community, and that’s always supported.”

  The proposed project will need to undergo an environmental review, which will be conducted by an independent third party. The findings of the review will be published on the Union Gas website. 

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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