November 12, 2019 / 7:08 PM / 8 months ago

National Grid to truck natgas to meet winter demand in New England/New York

Nov 12 (Reuters) - National Grid Plc will truck liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) to New York and New England to ensure customers have enough gas to heat homes and businesses on the coldest days this winter.

The Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board last week approved National Grid’s plan to install a temporary LNG vaporization facility in Portsmouth, Rhode Island to provide gas when needed to Aquidneck Island.

In January, almost 7,500 customers on Aquidneck Island lost gas supplies during a brutal freeze. Aquidneck Island is home to Newport, Portsmouth and Middletown, Rhode Island.

While much of the county is awash in gas with U.S. production at record levels and growing, some gas companies in the Northeast still struggle to meet demand on the coldest winter days.

Opposition to buildout of pipeline infrastructure, particularly in New York state, has prevented some areas farther north from accessing booming Appalachian supply,” Daniel Myers, market analyst at Gelber & Associates in Houston, said in a report on Tuesday.

In addition to trucking LNG to Rhode Island, National Grid said it plans to transport CNG to Long Island, New York to help meet demand this winter, according to a report by S&P Global Platts.

The company has operated temporary LNG and CNG stations in New York and Rhode Island to provide consumers with gas on peak winter days in the past, according to the S&P Global Platts article.

National Grid, which has imposed a moratorium on signing up new gas customers in New York City and Long Island, has said it hopes this is a temporary fix while it waits for long-delayed pipeline projects to enter service.

Regulators in New York and New Jersey have so far rejected Williams Cos Inc’s proposed $1 billion Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project. Williams, however, has said it hopes to overcome the states opposition and get the pipe built.

National Grid, which has agreed to buy gas from Williams’ NESE project, has said it cannot sign up new gas customers until the pipe is allowed to proceed because it would not have access to enough gas to supply the new customers without the new pipe.

NESE is designed to transport about 0.4 billion cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York - enough to supply about 2.3 million homes.

National Grid serves about 1.8 million customers in New York City and Long Island.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Marguerita Choy

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