Natural gas expansion preparation underway

Published on June 20, 2014

Heritage Gas held an information meeting earlier this week about their expansion into this area. From left: distribution tech Nevin MacKinnon, manager of construction Matthew Sears and distribution tech Bob Baillie. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS


Natural gas is getting closer to being used in homes in Pictou County.

Earlier this week Heritage Gas held a public information session to let people know about what their plans are  as they wait for approval for expansion into Stellarton and New Glasgow from the Utility and Review Board of Nova Scotia.

“We’re going to extend off the line to Northern Pulp and Michelin. We’ll be putting in about a three and a half kilometer steel line from Mt. William into Munro Avenue,” said Matthew Sears, manger of construction.

From that point he said they’ll lower the pressure through a facility called a town border station. From there they transfer the natural gas through a polyethylene type pipe which will initially come down Munroe Avenue to Westville Road to in front of the Pictou County Wellness Centre and then down MacGregor Avenue as well as Stellarton Road and Westville Road in front of the mall. They’ll then work along East River Road and expand into Stellarton via Foord Street and Acadia Avenue.

“As we put more pipe in and we get more interest from our customers, we’ll extend lines to where those might be, based on the interest and feasibility of getting to those customers,” Sears said.

He said the commercial customers tend to be the anchors that drive the lines into different area. That said, about half of their customers are residential customers, he said.

In order for people to use the gas naturally, they’d have to either get a natural gas furnace or convert their existing furnace to be able to use it.

“The cost of that depends on what kind of furnace or unit you would have,” he said. “It can be widely variable.”

Typical savings for customers who switch to natural gas is about 20 per cent, he said. Already interest in natural gas has been strong and they’re expecting that to increase as plans continue to develop.

As they expand into the area, Sears said an important part is to communicate with local fire departments and the emergency measures office to make them aware of what to do in the event of a natural gas emergency.

They’re also spreading awareness about their Call Before You Dig Campaign.

“We do a lot of that because we want to make sure people are calling before they dig and they’re aware of our lines.”

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