Farmers, a hard-cider producer and Middlebury College will begin to receive natural gas service sooner than they had expected, reports the Vermont newspaper the Times Argus.
For the first time, a local natural gas distribution company and a ‘virtual pipeline’ provider have partnered to provide natural gas to new customers in advance of a pipeline extension.
Vermont Gas and NG Advantage LLC have begun construction of a ‘gas island” which consists of an offloading station and a small pipeline network which will connect Agri-Mark’s Middlebury plant, Vermont Hard Cider and Middlebury College.
Upon completion of the gas island infrastructure, NG Advantage will begin delivering the same gas that will eventually flow from the pipeline using its ‘virtual pipeline,’ consisting of a fleet of high-tech tractor trailers.
‘Agri-Mark is very pleased to receive natural gas in this transition period due to this innovative transition approach designed by NG Advantage and Vermont Gas,” stated Doug DiMento, Agri-Mark’s spokesman. ‘Our company continues to look forward to the natural gas pipeline because when completed it will allow us to reduce plant costs substantially for our farmer-owners. In the meantime, we support this creative, short-term solution as it will allow us to make a first step with some financial savings to our farmers until the full project is completed.”
‘We believe this a first in the US midstream natural gas distribution history,” stated NG Advantage CEO Tom Evslin. ‘We are on track to begin deliveries in late 2014. When the work in Middlebury is completed, we will be able to serve Vermont Gas’ new customers saving them 20-40 percent off of their fuel bills.”