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St. Lawrence Gas hopes to energize lines into Tri-Town by July

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BRASHER FALLS — Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas officials hope to energize their natural gas pipeline expansion in the Tri-Town area by July.

Bernard J. Carvel, construction manager, said pipe laying is mostly complete in St. Lawrence County.

“We have about eight more bores that have to be completed and then we will be able to energize the line as far as North Lawrence,” he said.

Mr. Carvel said those bores will go under rivers, streams and wetlands.

“The conditions on the bores are considered by the contractor to be extreme. They have run into a lot of large, nested boulders. It makes it very difficult. They would rather be in bedrock,” Mr. Carvel said.

“It’s been very tough conditions from Norfolk to North Lawrence. We’re hoping for better conditions as we head east, but we expect we will have more of the same challenges,” he said.

Company employees provided an update on pipeline progress to the Franklin County Legislature late last month of the status of the 48-mile pipeline expansion project that started in Norfolk and is set to finish in Chateaugay.

“It’s more good news from us,” said James P. Ward, assistant general manager.

Enbridge hopes to reach Malone by mid- to late summer and finish in Chateaugay by late fall. However, he said, weather does play a factor in construction time.

Mr. Ward said the company will have a pressure test on the installed portion of the pipeline soon and then natural gas will be turned on for residents hooked up to the line.

The two major customers on the first section of the expansion project are gearing up for the opportunity to use natural gas. Mr. Carvel said he talked to representatives of North Lawrence Dairy and St. Lawrence Central School this week.

“The dairy is working on converting at least one or two of their boilers, and the school has one boiler ready to go,” Mr. Carvel said.

He said Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas is also drawing interest from residential customers.

The total budget for the project is set at $41 million; Mr. Ward said the company has already spent $17 million.

In the past, Mr. Ward said natural gas could save residents more than $1,000 a season in heating costs, noting that natural gas gives residents an alternative to wood, fuel oil or propane.

Johnson Newspapers writer Ryne R. Martin contributed to this report.

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