Liberty Utilities outlines plans for natural pipeline, storage facility in EppingBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
January 29. 2018 11:17PM
EPPING — Representatives from Liberty Utilities met with selectmen Monday night to outline plans for its proposed $340 million natural gas pipeline that will stretch 27 miles from Stratham to Manchester and include a tank storage facility in Epping.
The pipeline project known as “Granite Bridge” will be located within the state Department of Transportation’s right of way along Route 101 and will serve New Hampshire residents and businesses, said Michael Licata, the company’s director of government and community relations.
The plan calls for a storage facility to be built in an abandoned quarry on 140 acres adjacent to Route 101 that would be designed to liquefy, store and vaporize natural gas.
The facility would include a tank that could hold up to 2 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas. The tank would be 150 to 170 feet high and 200 feet in diameter, Licata said.
Licata said the company plans to purchase the 140 acres, but only 15 acres would be needed for the storage facility. He said he welcomes input from the town on the best use for the remaining acres.
Officials said the project will not include the taking of private land through eminent domain.
Headquartered in Londonderry, Liberty Utilities serves 91,000 gas customers in 31 communities along the Interstate 93 corridor
Licata said the project is needed because its pipeline, known as Concord Lateral, which provides natural gas to southern and central New Hampshire northward from Dracut, Mass., to Concord, has reached capacity. The new pipeline would connect the Concord Lateral line to another existing pipeline in Stratham.
The project could also offer the opportunity for natural gas service in Epping, which company officials say would support additional development in commercial areas in the area of Exit 7.
The project would also create 330 full-time jobs during construction with 15 permanent jobs, officials said.
According to the company, the 16-inch pipeline would be buried 48 inches underground.
Licata insisted that the pipeline and storage facility would meet and exceed all safety requirements.
The company will have around the clock on-site and remote monitoring and control of the storage facility and pipeline.
The proposal generated a few questions from selectmen, but they voiced no serious concerns.
Selectman Tom Dwyer asked if the storage facility would be big enough or would the company likely seek to install a second tank at some point.
“This is designed to meet our needs for the foreseeable future,” Licata responded.
The project must still be approved by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. The company will continue its public outreach this year as it awaits final approvals and hopes to begin construction next year. Based on the company’s current timeline, pipeline construction would be finished in 2021 with work on the storage facility completed in 2022.