Affordable, clean natural gas begins flowing in northern community
RED LAKE, ON, Oct. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Union Gas executives were joined in Red Lake today by government dignitaries, representatives from mining company Goldcorp and special guests, to celebrate the completion of a pipeline project that is delivering clean, affordable natural gas to local residents and businesses.
Mike Shannon, vice president of operations at Union Gas and David Sword, northwest district manager for the natural gas utility, were joined by Ontario Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, Sarah Campbell, Red Lake Mayor Phil Vinet and Goldcorp superintendent of community relations Mark Vermette, at the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre to light a ceremonial natural gas flame marking this important occasion for the community.
"Union Gas has been delivering affordable, clean and reliable natural gas to over 400 communities in Ontario for more than a century," Shannon said. "We're proud of our longstanding community partnerships and on behalf of the 2,200 employees at Union Gas, we are pleased to continue to grow our relationship in northern Ontario."
The $40 million project was funded cooperatively by the federal and provincial governments, Goldcorp, the Municipality of Red Lake and Union Gas. Natural gas can save consumers 50 to 70 per cent compared to electricity, fuel oil and propane.
"On behalf of Council, Staff and residents, I would like to thank Union Gas for investing and having confidence in the Red Lake Area. We look forward to a partnership with Union Gas that will be beneficial to all for many years to come," said Vinet. "This new clean, efficient and economic form of energy will provide new opportunities for our residents and businesses. We welcome Union Gas to Red Lake!"
The heating and plumbing community in the Red Lake region is already busy responding to requests for new furnaces, water heaters and other pieces of natural gas equipment.
"I am delighted that the provincial government could help support Union Gas in the construction of this pipeline project. It will provide the residents and businesses of the Municipality of Red Lake with clean, affordable, and reliable natural gas service," said Gravelle. "This project has supported the creation of over 100 jobs, financially benefited and stimulated the local economy, and will most certainly encourage further investment in Northern Ontario."
Natural gas is now available at the Goldcorp mine sites and in October, service began rolling out to individual homes and businesses in phases. Gas service will be available in all areas by the end of November.
"This is another example of Goldcorp's commitment to sustainability and long-term value creation for the communities in which we operate," said Goldcorp's Vermette. "This project will not only satisfy our anticipated growth and save costs; our employees and the community here in Red Lake will benefit from clean, low-cost energy for generations to come."
Added Tony Clement, Minister for FedNor: "The Government of Canada is proud to have invested in the natural gas pipeline connecting Red Lake's business and commercial districts, which will serve as a catalyst for regional economic development, enhancing business competitiveness and attracting private sector investment for years to come. Today's milestone celebration is a tribute to the dedication and determination of all involved in making this community priority a reality."
Applications for gas service have been gathered and processed through the summer months. Over 400 applications have been received to date and Union Gas will continue to install services for customers in subsequent years.
Over the past century, Union Gas has been privileged to work in more than 400 Ontario communities. In addition to natural gas delivery services for homes and businesses, Union Gas has contributed to the province through significant economic investments, hundreds of jobs, millions in municipal taxes, energy efficiency programs, thousands of volunteer hours helping community organizations, major charitable giving and sponsorships. Last year alone, Union Gas and its employees contributed $3 million to charitable organizations across Ontario, including more than $900,000 to United Way. For more information visit uniongas.com/community.
About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers. The distribution business serves about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 400 communities across northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario. Union Gas, named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2011, 2012 and 2013, and one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2012, is a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company with assets of $5.8 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com
SOURCE: Union Gas Limited
For further information:
Union Gas Limited
Manager, External Communications and Media Relations
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5490
Cell: 519 365-1010