UPM Madison paper mill in Maine expects use of natural gas from recently completed pipeline will trim its environmental footprint; among other commercial customers in Maine switching to natural gas are Sappi in Skowhegan and Huhtamäki in Waterville
April 17, 2014
– The final connection was made this week for Summit Natural Gas of Maine's 68-mile steel backbone transmission pipeline from Pittston to Madison that will eventually distribute natural gas to 17 central Maine communities. The transmission pipeline took less than a year to build and completes the first year of the company's multi-year Kennebec Valley project. The planned construction for 2014 begins this month as the company plans to install 85 miles of additional distribution pipeline in the Kennebec Valley region and 66 miles in the towns of Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth.
The completed transmission pipeline is part of the natural gas infrastructure that Summit Natural Gas of Maine is building in the Kennebec Valley. The steel pipeline provides the backbone for the planned build out of a distribution pipeline system that Summit is installing.
"This is a significant milestone for our company and a historic opportunity for the Kennebec Valley. We are very grateful to all the people in the communities that supported the first year of our construction. Our more than 60 employees and more than 700 construction workers that helped make this possible deserve a lot of the credit. As we begin our 2014 construction program, we are committed to expanding natural gas service to the residential and commercial sectors. We want as many people as possible to experience the positive economic and environmental benefits of natural gas," said Mike Minkos, president of Summit Natural Gas of Maine.
Gas from Summit Natural Gas of Maine began flowing this week to the UPM Madison paper mill in Madison.
With phase 1 complete, residential customers in Augusta, Fairfield, Gardiner, Hallowell, Randolph and Waterville are now connected to the Summit pipeline and are using natural gas. In total, more than 1,800 residential customers have already signed up with Summit for natural gas service and to benefit from the efficiency rebates available.
Commercial customers have also benefited from Summit's progress during Phase 1. In Madison, UPM Madison contracted with Summit to change the energy source for the mill's power boilers to natural gas and reduce the company's overall energy costs. UPM Madison is a major player in the supercalendered sector of the paper industry and one of the region's largest industrial manufacturers.
"With great anticipation, we look forward to utilizing natural gas in our papermaking power boilers. Switching to natural gas will have several immediate positive impacts on our business, including reducing our environmental footprint. The entire community will benefit from the local delivery of natural gas. We're glad Summit has arrived in Madison." said Russ Drechsel, president of UPM Madison.
In addition to UPM Madison and Huhtamaki in Waterville, more than 500 commercial customers have already signed contracts with Summit, including the city of Augusta, Skowhegan Savings, Inland Hospital in Waterville, Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, and Sappi Fine Paper North America in Skowhegan.
Phase 2 of the Kennebec Valley project will begin this month and focus on installing distribution lines throughout several communities and the service lines that will connect homes and businesses with natural gas. In 2014, Summit Natural Gas of Maine will be installing more miles of additional natural gas pipelines to residential areas than any other gas company in Maine.
Summit Utilities, Inc., the parent company of Summit Natural Gas of Maine, operates 20 natural gas districts throughout Colorado and Missouri, and specializes in providing natural gas to areas that are either hard to serve or that aren't being served. These districts represent approximately 40,000 customers, $292 million in assets, 400 miles of high-pressure steel main lines and approximately 1,500 miles of polyethylene main lines.
UPM Madison paper mill
About Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc.:
Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc. is a subsidiary of Summit Utilities, Inc. Summit Utilities, Inc. acts as a holding company that owns and operates Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc.; Colorado Natural Gas, Inc.; Summit Natural Gas of Missouri, Inc.; and Wolf Creek Energy LLC. The company's natural gas subsidiaries construct, install and operate natural gas distribution systems in order to provide natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers. For more information, visit www.summitnaturalgasmaine.com.
About UPM Madison:
UPM Madison is one of North America's leading producers of supercalendered paper used by printers and publishers of magazines and catalogs. Madison Paper Industries (Madison) is a Maine general partnership formed in 1980. Its current partners are UPM-Kymmene Corporation and Northern SC Paper Corporation (a subsidiary of the New York Times Company). With UPM Blandin paper mill, located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and sales office in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, IL, UPM North America comprises the North American publication paper operations of global paper and forest products company UPM Corporation. Learn more at www.upm.com/na.
Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The group employs around 21,000 people and its annual sales are approximately € 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM - The Biofore Company - www.upm.com