JACKSON, Mich., Aug. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy has started construction on the Saginaw Trail Pipeline, a five-year, approximately $610 million project in Saginaw, Genesee and Oakland counties to increase natural gas reliability and safety in Michigan.
Crews of about 450 union skilled trades workers from Consumers Energy and construction contractor Welded Construction are removing 78 miles of 12- and 16-inch pipeline dating to the 1940s and installing a new 24-inch pipeline.
"This project is a long-term commitment by Consumers Energy and fulfills several promises to our customers, such as working for safer communities and delivering energy where it's needed; with the added economic benefit of putting Michiganders to work," said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy's vice president of gas engineering and supply. "We are committed to operating safely as a cooperative neighbor while we work with communities to complete each phase of the project."
The Saginaw Trail Pipeline work will take place in five phases, beginning this year with an 18.5-mile stretch of pipeline in southern Saginaw and northern Genesee counties. Construction started in June and is expected to finish in December 2022.
When completed, the Saginaw Trail Pipeline will reach from Tittabawassee Township, in Saginaw County, to south of Milford in Oakland County.
Work on each phase will finish prior to the winter heating season so customers will experience uninterrupted natural gas service.
The pipeline travels primarily through rural agricultural areas. An existing pipeline in the urban areas west of Saginaw and east of Flint will be rerouted in 2018 and 2019. Ultimately, 94 miles of new pipe will be installed.
Customer benefits include:
Safety and reliability. Installing new pipe improves the integrity of the line, boosts reliability for customers and helps ensures adequate supply of natural gas for Michigan homes and businesses now and into the future.
Value. The Saginaw Trail Pipeline is part of a larger strategic commitment to natural gas. We're uniquely positioned to help customers leverage the benefits of natural gas, an affordable, clean fuel.
Economic impact. The project is expected to create as many as 450 jobs each construction year. Local and Michigan contractors, goods and services will be used whenever practical.
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.
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.