May 22, 2017 - 6:00 AM EDT
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Consumers Energy Investing Nearly $440 Million to Enhance Safety, Reliability of Natural Gas System

JACKSON, Mich., May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Focusing on safety and reliability, Consumers Energy is spending nearly $440 million this year to modernize its natural gas system.

Consumers Energy Logo (PRNewsFoto/Consumers Energy)

"At Consumers Energy, the safe, reliable delivery of natural gas is a top priority. We are committed to continually strengthening our natural gas system to benefit the 1.8 million homes and businesses we are proud to serve throughout Lower Michigan," said Charles Crews, vice president of gas operations for Consumers Energy.

Upgrade projects for 2017 are in infrastructure replacement, growth, and pipeline integrity.

Infrastructure Enhancement and Replacement

A total of $75 million will be spent to complete 40 improvement projects and replace 67 miles of pipe with plastic and steel, using approximately 500 Consumers Energy employees dedicated to this program. These projects are scheduled across Michigan, and include:

  • 11 projects in the Royal Oak area
  • 6 projects in Lansing, Jackson and Adrian areas
  • 6 projects in the Macomb area
  • 4 projects in the Flint area
  • 4 projects in the Saginaw, Midland and Alma areas
  • 4 projects in the Plymouth, Auburn and Waterford areas
  • 4 projects in the Kalamazoo area

In addition, Consumers Energy is working in conjunction with state, county and municipal projects to relocate or replace natural gas infrastructure, including replacing about 8,500 service lines leading to homes and businesses. The energy provider is investing about $60 million into these roadway and civic improvement projects this year.

Growth

With the economy expanding, Consumers Energy is investing $120 million in its natural gas system in 2017 to keep up with growth in Michigan, which includes:

  • $35 million in expansions and improvements to serve a projected nearly 8,000 new business customers.
  • $33 million to construct 190 miles of distribution main to serve customers in areas currently without natural gas service. More than 2,500 new residential customers will be reached through the energy company's Customer Attachment Program.
  • $27 million for the first two project phases to augment the delivery systems and increase natural gas supply to meet growth in the Caledonia and Lowell areas.
  • $25 million to increase the capacity of regulation facilities where natural gas pressures are reduced and odorant is added for safety, including a city gate upgrade associated with the Caledonia-Lowell system upgrade.

Pipeline Integrity

Consumers Energy is investing $183 million in pipeline integrity this year to help ensure the continued safe delivery of natural gas. These initiatives include:

  • $63 million to inspect and remediate about 600 miles of its transmission and distribution system with inline inspection and direct assessment.
  • $120 million on the first phase of construction of the Saginaw Trail Pipeline, a five-year, $610 million project that will replace 78 miles of vintage transmission line to improve safety and increase natural gas transmission capacity into Saginaw, Genesee and Oakland counties.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media
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This news release contains "forward-looking statements." The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause Consumers Energy's results to differ materially. All forward-looking statements should be considered in the context of the risk and other factors detailed from time to time in Consumers Energy's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/consumers-energy-investing-nearly-440-million-to-enhance-safety-reliability-of-natural-gas-system-300460917.html

SOURCE Consumers Energy


Source: PR Newswire (May 22, 2017 - 6:00 AM EDT)

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