CENTRE HALL – Natural gas is now flowing to a major food processing plant and will be soon to small businesses and over 100 homes in its initial phase.
This is thanks to the Centre Hall Natural Gas Project and its partners, said Pete Smeltz, president of the SEDA-COG Natural Gas Cooperative.
“This project has progressed rapidly since its groundbreaking last September. It demonstrates how the SEDA-COG Natural Gas Cooperative forms partnerships and leverages funds to help businesses and residents access natural gas when they can’t otherwise,” Smeltz said. “We are so appreciative of our participating supporters – Hanover Foods Corporation, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Dominion Energy Transmission, the state of Pennsylvania, state Sen. Jake Corman, state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, Centre County Planning and Community Development Office, and Centre Hall Borough.”
The largest business the project serves is Hanover Foods Corporation.
Attorney Matthew Garber of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, counsel for Hanover Foods, said, “Hanover Foods is pleased to utilize a cleaner and more cost-efficient resource, to strengthen its operational capabilities, and to support development throughout the Centre County region.”
Over 100 residents and businesses along the main pipeline route have been able to convert to natural gas because of opportunities provided by Columbia Gas.
Mike Huwar, Columbia Gas president and COO, said this presents new economic opportunities for the area.
“Columbia Gas is honored to expand access to natural gas to customers in Centre Hall through this project while creating new jobs and new economic opportunities,” Huwar said. “Going forward, safely operating this system will be our responsibility for years to come. We take that responsibility for safety seriously —for our customers, for our communities, and for our employees.”
Centre Hall Mayor Ray Hankinson, who serves on the cooperative board, said this project is much needed in the borough to support jobs and cost savings for businesses and homeowners alike.
“This is an exciting first project for the cooperative and our borough – and a great milestone for central Pennsylvanians. Our small borough could never have planned and coordinated the resources it took to bring this project into existence. I hope this becomes a drawing card for new business in our area,” Hankinson said.
The project provides natural gas service through a new a point of delivery station and delivery pipeline network that connects to a Dominion Energy natural gas transmission line west of Centre Hall Borough, runs through Centre Hall, and out to Hanover Foods in Potter Township. Columbia Gas built a 25,425-foot mainline pipeline delivery system to serve Centre Hall, Hanover Foods, and other businesses and residents. The initial project phase will continue to be expanded to serve additional residences and businesses over time.
Columbia Gas owns and operates the point of delivery station and the delivery system. The cooperative procured and managed funding and has supported marketing efforts to add new customers.
The $7 million project was financed by a $1 million Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Financing Authority, and matching funds from Columbia Gas and Hanover Foods.
The SEDA-COG Natural Gas Cooperative, established in June 2016, provides project funding and forms partnerships to expand natural gas distribution infrastructure to its member counties Centre, Clinton, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, and Union and SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG). For more information, visit http://centralpagas.org/.