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Planned Enbridge Gas investments will position Chatham-Kent for future growth

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Chatham-Kent is praising Enbridge Gas for playing a key role in positioning the municipality for growth through energy security thanks to more than $350 million in planned investments.

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Enbridge has presented details to council regarding two significant projects underway in Chatham-Kent aimed to better serve residential, commercial, industrial, greenhouse and power generation customers in Chatham-Kent and beyond. The projects will also ensure the municipality is making headway into the field of renewable energy generation, stated a media release.

The first is the Panhandle Regional Expansion Project, which includes approximately 19 kilometres of new pipeline adjacent to an existing pipeline corridor between the Dover Transmission Station at Balmoral Line and Town Line Road Chatham-Kent and the planned construction of a new station in the Municipality of Lakeshore near Richardson Side Road and Middle Line.

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This project, slated to cost about $300 million, is subject to regulatory approval from the Ontario Energy Board, which is needed for the project to move forward, stated the release. Once approved, construction will begin in early 2023 to be completed by the end of 2023 for some components, with other components to be constructed in 2024.

“That’s creating gas opportunities for the whole region,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff. “It helps businesses in Chatham-Kent and Essex County.”

He added the natural gas that will flow through new pipeline is enough to serve about 200,000 homes.

“It’s required because of the expansion that’s happening in Southwestern Ontario,” the mayor said.

The second project is the recently announced $50-million partnership with Waste Connections of Canada that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating a new renewable natural gas facility at the Ridge Landfill, near Blenheim, the release said.

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This project aims to capture landfill gas generated by decomposing waste and transform it into carbon-neutral renewable natural gas, which will be injected into the local distribution system and reduce an expected 110,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which is enough to heat more than 40 percent of the homes in Chatham-Kent. If approved by the energy board, construction could begin in the spring of 2023 and be complete by the end of 2023.

“As Chatham-Kent continues to grow, so do the needs of our residents, businesses and industries in terms of natural gas consumption,” Canniff said. “Enbridge is ensuring that Chatham-Kent meets these growing demands by undertaking this significant (Panhandle) infrastructure investment.

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“This, paired with their recent announcement on renewable energy generation at the Ridge Landfill in partnership with Waste Connections of Canada, goes to show that Enbridge is investing in the future of Chatham-Kent as an important economic hub and hotspot for growth,” he added.

The combined $350 million in investment will help to unlock the economic development potential of Southwestern Ontario, including the creation of hundreds of jobs for skilled trades and union workers through development and construction, along with several highly skilled permanent operational jobs, the release stated. The projects will also provide more than $930,000 in incremental propety taxes annually for local communities.

“Enbridge is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve by providing families and businesses with an affordable and reliable energy choice, and advancing innovative low-carbon solutions like green fuels to support Ontario’s climate change goals,” said Jim Redford, vice-president of energy services, gas distribution and storage for Enbridge Gas, in the release. “We’re proud of our long-standing history in Chatham-Kent and are excited to partner with the municipality and Waste Connections of Canada to move these projects forward.”

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