MALONE - Enbridge-St. Lawrence Gas officials said the natural gas pipeline project expanding service through the Tri-Town area into Franklin County should be operational by this summer.
Enbridge General Manager Jim Ward painted a timeline for the Malone Rotary Club Thursday afternoon that showed the 48-mile gas pipeline should be supplying customers in North Lawrence by this springt and the first commercial accounts in Chateaugay, its eastern terminus, by the fall.
Mr. Ward said the original timetable, which called for the $41 million pipeline to reach Malone by the end of 2012, had been pushed back because laborers ran into large deposits of rock between Norfolk and North Lawrence that they didnt know were there.
He said a majority of Malone should have gas service within a year of the pipeline reaching the village, and the rest should be able to get it within five years.
He said the gas is pumped in from Canada via a high-pressure 8-inch metal pipe that branches off into two regulating stations. Those stations are essential to getting the gas to individual clients - it takes the high-pressure gas and feeds it into 4-inch plastic piping, which will run into the village and down streets that get service. From those pipes, ½-inch plastic pipes will feed the gas into the home. Mr. Ward said the ½-inch pipes will provide more than enough gas for a home or business.
Once a street has the four-inch pipe, customers can apply to get their houses connected. Potential customers will be required to apply in writing and sign a contract that they will use the gas and have at least one gas appliance hooked up for life, but the installation is free. If they get the gas service but dont get a meter or appliance, they can be charged $1,500 or more, according to Enbridge customer service official Philip St. Amand.
Enbridge will install a meter on the property of successful applicants; they will not allow a contractor to do that job. The customer can have a contractor of their choice install the piping, which must be either black iron or corrugated stainless steel, needed to get the gas into the home from the outside.
Enbridge will not turn the gas on until they have performed a safety inspection of the house, piping, and chimney. Mr. St. Amand said they arent there to judge the quality of the work; it just needs to meet safety standards.