Iberdrola USA, the parent company of Central Maine Power Co., has become the third entity to propose a natural gas pipeline in central Maine. Through its subsidiary, Maine Natural Gas, the company would develop a pipeline to serve the city of Augusta.
The line as proposed would extend from an existing pipeline in Windsor and run 10 miles along Route 17 to Route 9 in Augusta, according to a press release. Maine Natural Gas is already in talks with potential large customers and plans to apply for state and local permits this spring if there is enough interest. The first phase would service the east side of the city, while a second phase would extend to the North Augusta commercial area in 2013. Brunswick-based Maine Natural Gas has recently expanded its distribution in Bath and Freeport.
If built, the project would compete with a proposed 56-mile pipeline by Kennebec Valley Gas Co. that would run from Richmond to Madison, according to the Kennebec Journal. Maine Natural Gas would not disclose the cost of the project but did say it has financing and would not seek tax breaks, as Kennebec Valley Gas has done. The town of Madison is also proposing to build a pipeline in central Maine, and residents will vote March 13 on whether the town should seek a $72 million bond for the project, a measure voters rejected last November.