Elizabethtown Gas to invest more than $1.1 billion in SMART infrastructure program
UNION, NJ - Sept. 23, 2015 - Elizabethtown Gas, a subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), is proposing a comprehensive plan that will allow the company to continue its investment in the replacement of aging pipeline infrastructure, and support the company's No. 1 priority of maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas distribution system. Elizabethtown Gas is seeking approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to invest more than $1.1 billion over a 10-year period to replace 630 miles of pipeline. The proposed plan, known as SMART (Safety, Modernization and Reliability Tariff), aims to remove all aging cast iron and steel pipelines by 2027.
Enhancing and upgrading natural gas infrastructure is essential to meeting the growing demand for natural gas, as well as reliably delivering the fuel source to more than 282,000 Elizabethtown Gas customers in more than 85 communities.
"Our continued investment in critical infrastructure is vital in meeting our obligation to provide natural gas service in the safest, most reliable manner," said Brian MacLean, president of Elizabethtown Gas. "While we have made significant strides in modernizing our distribution system, SMART will help us meet the needs of our customers now and into the future."
Specifically, the SMART program includes the strategic elimination of 630 miles of vintage cast iron, steel and copper service lines, as well as 240 regulator stations associated with Elizabethtown Gas' low-pressure distribution system. In addition, excess flow valves will be installed on all new service lines and natural gas meters will be moved to the outside of homes and businesses as part of this program.
The plan supports the economic and environmental goals envisioned in the New Jersey Energy Master Plan, which also includes the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Since 2004, Elizabethtown Gas has invested approximately $550 million under various programs to replace more than 200 miles of vintage infrastructure, mostly cast iron and bare steel, and provided reinforcements to the distribution system.
If approved, a customer's yearly bill is expected to increase approximately 2-3 percent annually over the 10-year period currently proposed under SMART.
For more information, visit www.elizabethtowngas.com.
About Elizabethtown Gas
Elizabethtown Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides natural gas delivery service to approximately 281,000 residential, business and industrial natural gas customers in New Jersey. In operation since 1855, the company serves parts of Union, Middlesex, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Morris and Mercer counties. For more information, visit www.elizabethtowngas.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves more than one million retail customers through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include matters that are not historical facts, such as statements regarding our future operations, prospects, strategies, financial condition, economic performance (including growth and earnings), industry conditions and demand for our products and services. Because these statements involve anticipated events or conditions, forward-looking statements often include words such as "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "can," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "future," "goal," "indicate," "intend," "may," "outlook," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "seek," "should," "target," "would," or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, the quote from Brian MacLean, statements regarding anticipated benefits, costs, regulatory approval, environmental and economic impact, and timing and financial impact to our customers and AGL Resources of our SMART infrastructure program and related expectations and assumptions.
Actual results may differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, changes in price, supply and demand for natural gas and related products; the impact of changes in state and federal legislation and regulation including any changes related to climate change; actions taken by government agencies on rates and other matters; concentration of credit risk; utility and energy industry consolidation; the impact on cost and timeliness of construction projects by government and other approvals, development project delays, adequacy of supply of diversified vendors, unexpected change in project costs, including the cost of funds to finance these projects; limits on pipeline capacity; the impact of acquisitions and divestitures; our ability to successfully integrate operations that we have or may acquire or develop in the future, direct or indirect effects on our business, financial condition or liquidity resulting from any change in our credit ratings, or any change in the credit ratings of our counterparties or competitors; interest rate fluctuations; financial market conditions, including disruptions in the capital markets and lending environment; general economic conditions; uncertainties about environmental issues and the related impact of such issues, including our environmental remediation plans; the impact of changes in weather, including climate change, on the temperature-sensitive portions of our business; the impact of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, on the supply and price of natural gas; acts of war or terrorism; the outcome of litigation; and other factors which are provided in detail in AGL Resources' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are incorporated by reference in this press release. Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are made. We disclaim any obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of future events, new information or otherwise, except as required under United States federal securities law.