Kingston gas line replacement service almost ready
Published 1:01 am Sunday, June 4, 2017
NATCHEZ — Kingston’s natural gas replacement is ready to go save a few small final details, the community’s supervisor said Friday.
District 2 Supervisor David Carter said a Pinnacle Propane tank is installed and all that remains are details such as compatibility checks on people’s residences and waiting on signatures from the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
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“We are getting very close to the point of conversion,” Carter said. “It’s been a long, long process, but the big stuff is done we just have a few small details.”
Carter said he hoped the transition would be complete in two weeks.
American Midstream Partners replaced a 1920s-era line, which is currently active, in April with a new line that runs from Franklin Parish into Adams County. The new, 55-mile, 12-inch pipeline extends into Natchez, however it is capped at Cloverdale, which cut off customers including Kingston.
From the announcement of the project, Carter has worked with American Midstream to keep gas flowing on the old line, which runs from Monroe, La., to Baton Rouge, until Kingston is on the new system.
Pinnacle Propane is a propane-air hybrid that burns like natural gas and customers would only potentially need minimal conversion, if any, to use the product.
Company officials project many of the potential conversions would primarily be for safety and energy-efficiency purposes.
The propane hybrid is projected to cost 20-percent more than natural gas.
Pinnacle Propane has installed a tank, which connects into Kingston’s system. The company expects the tank will only need to be refilled four to six times a year.
Carter said the conversions would be handled through settlement money American Midstream set aside. Carter said he also hoped money would be available from the funds to subsidize the product’s expense for a time period.
“It will still be the cheapest thing compared to everything else that was on the table,” Carter said. “No matter what, we were looking at an increase.”
Carter would not say how much money is set aside in the American Midstream fund, but said it was a significant amount.
Other options included customers switching to electric products or propane products, both of which would have required new appliances. Carter said the hybrid quality of Pinnacle’s product also makes it cheaper than many other propane services.
Mississippi River Gas still owns the pipe system under Kingston and will bill customers, as currently happens. Company officials have said customers could continue to utilize the level pay option.
Level pay attempts to average annual costs to make monthly bills consistent.