September 13, 2012 | last updated September 13, 2012 11:07 am

State panel rescinds natural gas contract

A state bureau has reversed its decision to grant Maine Natural Gas the contract to build a Windsor-to-Augusta natural gas pipeline that would serve state offices.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the decision came after an appeal by competing bidder, Summit Natural Gas of Maine, which alleged that the terms of the state's request for proposal were unclear and that the companies' proposals were not scored fairly.

In a ruling Wednesday, the appeals panel of the state's Bureau of General Services agreed, finding that the RFP was not clear about the scope of the project.

The $19.3 million project proposed by Maine Natural Gas, which was initially accepted, did not include extensions of the pipeline to neighboring residential properties in Gardiner and throughout the Kennebec Valley, the BDN reported.

Summit's proposal for a $150 million project did include expansion throughout the valley, which was a point of contention in the company's appeal.

In early August, the city of Augusta considered joining Summit's appeal of the decision, but ultimately voted to stay out of the legal dispute.

The state will now begin the contract award process anew.


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