Governor Pat McCrory's office says a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline will bring hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity to North Carolina.
"The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is one of the largest projects of its type in the nation and represents a significant investment in our state," said Governor McCrory. "This project will drive economic growth and create much-needed jobs for eastern North Carolina. In addition, this new interstate natural gas pipeline will provide our entire state with new access to abundant, clean, reliable and competitively priced supplies of natural gas."
A press release from the governors office went on to say the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be a $4.5 billion joint venture between Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources and is expected to begin delivering natural gas to customers in late 2018.
The release also says the project is expected to create approximately 738 jobs each year in North Carolina during the construction phase, which will have an economic impact of $680 million. The pipeline is also expected to create 52 permanent jobs.
According to the governor's office, the pipeline is designed to transport 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, originating in Harrison County, West Virginia, traveling through Virginia, and ending in Robeson County, North Carolina. The natural gas will come from the Utica and Marcellus shale basins in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The governor's office says the interstate pipeline would be the state's second and is expected to hasten the transition from coal-burning power plants to natural gas, which is a much more environmentally friendly fuel. The pipeline will enter the state in Northampton County and travel southwest through parts of Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson and Cumberland counties before ending at Piedmont Natural Gas transmission facilities in Robeson County.
Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners have proposed building a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Gas is being relied upon to generate more of the nation's electricity in recent years because the enormous new domestic supplies have drastically lowered its price and it burns cleaner than the nation's other most important fuel for electric power, coal.
The 550-mile project will begin in Harrison County, West Virginia and stretch to Robeson County, North Carolina, in the southern part of the state.
The partners, which included Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources, expect to receive regulatory approval by mid-2016 and to start operating the pipeline in 2018.