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November 12, 2012 | last updated November 12, 2012 10:58 am

Feuding natural gas firms vie for Augusta clients

The battle over natural gas service in Augusta is accelerating as the two companies fighting for a stalled state contract look to make inroads with other clients around the capital.

Two weeks after Maine Natural Gas inked a 10-year agreement with MaineGeneral Medical Center, competitor Summit Natural Gas of Maine announced it has signed a 10-year natural gas deal with a local developer, according to the Kennebec Journal.

In early September, in response to a complaint by Summit, the state's Bureau of General Services rescinded a $19.3 million contract initially awarded to Maine Natural Gas to provide natural gas to state offices.

Maine Natural Gas responded by saying Summit's complaint, which alleged that the state's request for proposals was unclear and that bids were not scored fairly, came in a day beyond the deadline for an appeal.

Maine Natural Gas, an Iberdrola subsidiary, currently has permission from state regulators to extend natural gas pipelines where they do not currently exist.

According to the KJ, Summit currently has conditional approval from the state's Public Utilities Commission to build out natural gas pipelines in the state.

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