The Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind a natural gas pipeline project proposed by Liberty Utilities known as the Granite Bridge.
Ashley Haseltine, president of the chamber, said in a statement the project will be a “big win” for businesses and families in the state because it will be instrumental to attracting and retaining new businesses.
“Building the Granite Bridge will ensure businesses that choose to locate or expand in southern and central New Hampshire will be able to access natural gas service,” Haseltine said. “Without Granite Bridge those businesses will be stuck paying for more expensive energy options, making them less likely to locate or expand in New Hampshire.”
Haseltine said access to natural gas is a key factor for continued job growth. While some businesses have moved into the state in recent years, some large employers have relocated to other states, including Massachusetts.
Haseltine said that trend is likely to accelerate if New Hampshire doesn’t address its infrastructure challenges.
The chamber represents more than 300 member businesses in Derry, Londonderry, Atkinson, Auburn, Chester, Hampstead, Sandown and Windham.
“We are very happy to have the support of the Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce,” Liberty Utilities spokesman John Shore said. “Business organizations like this understand the need for reliable, clean-burning natural gas to keep the economy strong today and allow it to grow in the future.”
The greater Manchester, Nashua, Concord and Hudson chambers of commerce have all endorsed the project, as well as the New Hampshire Business & Industry Association, area labor unions and major manufacturing employers like BAE Systems.
Some residents in Raymond have spoken out against the project.
The project calls for a new pipeline along an existing state-designated energy corridor along Route 101 between Manchester and Exeter, with a natural gas storage facility in Epping.
It would create an east to west connection between two existing gas pipelines that run south to north.
The plan is to store up natural gas in the summer when demand and pricing is low and use it in the winter when demand spikes.