Over $8M in natural gas expansion grants announced for Chatham-Kent
A provincial road sign for Chatham, Ont. and Tilbury, Ont. can bee seen in this undated photo. (Chris Campbell/ CTV Windsor)
Published Tuesday, April 3, 2018 4:30PM EDT
The provincial government has announced more than $8 million in natural gas expansion grants in Chatham-Kent.
The Ontario ministries of Infrastructure, and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced the approval of eleven projects worth nearly $75 million under the Natural Gas Grant Program. All projects still require approval of the Ontario Energy Board.
The Chatham-Kent Rural Pipeline Expansion project will result in the construction of two transmission pipelines as well as supporting distribution mains and individual customer stations to immediately connect five local agricultural businesses, while establishing infrastructure that can help to meet growing energy demand within the local agri-food cluster.
The Moraviantown First Nation will benefit from the construction of a natural gas distribution pipeline to connect homes and businesses along Norton Line, Knoll Road, School House Road, Lunaapeew Road, and Littlejohn Road/Corn Plant Road near Chatham-Kent, serving the Delaware Nation of Moravian.
Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope says the news could bring hundreds of millions of dollars of investment and hundreds of jobs to the community.
“Our greenhouse industry is bursting at its seams,” says Hope. “Each acre of greenhouses costs more than $1 million to build and this project can supply enough natural gas for hundreds of acres of greenhouses. This kind of development brings jobs in construction and in long-term operation.”
Hope adds the announcement is the culmination of more than two years of effort by the municipality in aiding the project’s development, including last year’s council resolution of support.
A potential route for the proposed 8-inch diameter pipeline would be from the Panhandle System, in the Tupperville area, along Base Line to east of Dresden to Kent Bridge Road, a distance of 13 kilometres. The potential project would also include a 500-metre 12-inch diameter pipe near Dover Centre to “de-bottleneck” the Chatham East transmission system.
Chatham-Kent Acting Director of Economic Development Services Stuart McFadden says the expansion opens up opportunities for any businesses that use natural gas.
“In the past we have had to turn away in excess of 300 acres of greenhouse development alone due to supply issues,” claims McFadden. “This means we are more open for business than ever.”
Union Gas President Steve Baker says they are “very pleased” a number of Ontario communities are now a step closer to accessing natural gas.