Ontario Expanding Access to Natural Gas in Chatham-Kent
New natural gas pipelines will save people money, create jobs
DRESDEN — Ontario's Government is working for the people to lower heating costs, create jobs and make businesses more competitive by expanding access to natural gas in Chatham-Kent.
Minister of Infrastructure Monte McNaughton, and Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington, made the announcement at Cedarline Greenhouses, a company in Chatham-Kent that will be able to grow its business with this new expansion.
"Our priority is creating and protecting good jobs for the people of Ontario," said Minister McNaughton. "By lowering energy costs, we're making businesses more competitive and sending the clear message that Ontario is open for business to create good jobs."
The government's new program is intended to enable natural gas expansion in the community of Chatham-Kent, including the construction of two new transmission pipelines and supporting distribution mains.
The Chatham-Kent project could expand natural gas to an estimated 1,300 households and 200 businesses. The municipality estimates the additional natural gas capacity could bring an estimated 1,400 jobs in the greenhouse industry alone. Switching from propane, electric heat or oil to natural gas can also save an average residential customer between $800 and $2,500 a year.
"The gas lines we are celebrating today will increase the local capacity of natural gas by the equivalent of an additional 350 acres of greenhouse," said Greg Devries, President and CEO of Truly Green Farms and Cedarline Greenhouses. "For every acre of greenhouse constructed, at least two direct jobs and two indirect jobs are created. This natural gas project is a great example of how infrastructure stimulates the economy."
"The Natural Gas Expansion Support Program will help businesses in rural and Northern Ontario, including First Nations, cut energy costs, improve their competitiveness and attract more investment," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "It will also help expand the natural gas distribution network to households, making life more affordable for families."
- Chatham-Kent is the first community to be named as a recipient under the expansion program, which is targeted to begin in summer 2019. The program, which will be facilitated by the Independent Electricity System Operator, is designed to expand natural gas access to more parts of rural and Northern Ontario, including First Nations communities.
- The Chatham-Kent project is being led by Enbridge Gas Inc., Canada's largest natural gas distribution utility, which serves approximately 3.7 million residential and business customers in Ontario.
- Additional projects that are ready to move forward may be eligible to receive funding under the new program, subject to regulatory approval from the Ontario Energy Board.
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“Pleased to stand with Minister McNaughton on this exciting natural gas announcement that will benefit rural and Northern Ontario, including First Nations. Access to natural gas will be more cost effective for families, putting more money back in their pockets plus making and creating more businesses and employment opportunities in Ontario.”
“We have turned away investment in Chatham-Kent in the past because we did not have natural gas capacity. This pipeline is going to open up great opportunities in our community and create much-needed jobs.”
“The greenhouse sector of our agri-economy has been doubling in size every six years and this initiative by the Government of Ontario, Enbridge, Cedarline Greenhouses and Chatham-Kent ensures that growth will continue. Strategic investment in infrastructure pays dividends and we will continue to invest in our community. Chatham-Kent remains a leader in agricultural innovation and is evidence that we continue to grow for the world.”
“Expanding access to reliable and affordable natural gas provides a tremendous opportunity to drive economic development and enhance the quality of life and prosperity of Ontario families and businesses. The government’s announcement today is an important step in expanding access to natural gas in Chatham-Kent and we look forward to moving this project forward.”