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Hope Fuel makes public the projected value of its new Morgantown pipeline

MORGANTOWN – Following a Public Service Fee order, Hope Fuel has made public the estimated value of its Morgantown pipeline challenge. Different data it’s looking for to maintain confidential – itemized challenge prices and income estimates and maps and drawings – await additional PSC motion.

Hope estimates the pipeline – which can run a complete 30 miles from Wadestown in western Monongalia County eastward to the sting of Morgantown after which northwest to a website close to Osage – will value $177,437,169.

Hope filed its utility to construct the pipeline on Sept. 22, with value and income data redacted and maps and drawings not included within the public model. Then in an Oct. 12 submitting, Hope sought a protecting order to maintain the data confidential and defined why.

First, one of many challenge utility’s displays incorporates sure extremely detailed maps and drawings “that present exact places of services that shouldn’t be disclosed for safety causes.”

Second, one other exhibit incorporates challenge prices that ought to stay confidential as a result of sure challenge work stays topic to a bidding procurement course of.

And third, testimony by Craig C. Colombo, Hope’s vice chairman of gasoline provide, must be confidential the place he discusses estimated income from sure companies Hope would possibly present the place the pricing for such companies is topic to business negotiation with prospects.

On Oct. 26, PSC employees objected to Hope’s request for the protecting order. It stated the mixture value estimate of the challenge is a not a commerce secret.”

And whereas Hope isn’t instantly looking for to recoup the prices of the pipeline, employees stated, it plans to in later filings, and prospects should know the price and the way it would possibly have an effect on their future payments.

Workers additionally stated that revealing combination prices gained’t hurt negotiations. Hope can nonetheless preserve confidentiality on particular line objects the place it’s looking for aggressive pricing.

On the matter of the maps, employees stated they aren’t particular engineering plans and descriptions topic to safety below the Freedom of Info Act. “The general public has a considerable curiosity in viewing these maps in an effort to gauge what impression this challenge can have on non-public property and the way it may have an effect on their property values and property usages,” employees stated. “The general public additionally has a proper to see how the trail of this challenge will impression any public lands if there’s such an impression in any respect.”

In its Nov. 13 order, the PSC denied Hope’s request for protecting therapy for whole estimated challenge prices. “The challenge will contain quite a few parts and distributors. It’s unlikely that distributors will acquire any enterprise benefit over Hope from disclosure of the mixture whole estimated Mission value. The shoppers’ curiosity in having a significant discover of the entire value of utility initiatives outweighs the not possible danger of hurt to Hope’s enterprise negotiations.”

The PSC allowed Hope to maintain confidential different data, equivalent to projected income from expanded service allowed by the brand new pipeline, the price of Columbia Fuel constructing a brand new interconnection at Wadestown, and the maps and drawings.

The brand new line would start at Hope’s interconnect with a Columbia Fuel line close to Wadestown. Utilizing new and present Hope right-of-way, it will run 25 miles to the Western fringe of Morgantown to attach with different proposed Hope services (referred to as Black Evening) west of I-79 and Concord Grove. Hope says about 5.5 miles of that right-of-way is in northern Marion County.

From Black Evening, the road would use present and new third-party rights-of-way to go 5 miles northwest of Granville to a station referred to as Mineral northwest of Osage.

Hope notes that about 14.5 miles of the challenge is parallel to present Hope right-of-way or to different strains, to permit for grouped utilities and taking advantage of an present hall. “This route was chosen contemplating proximity to properties and buildings, topography suited to the scale of the pipeline, delicate assets and the related crossings, and tie-in places at Wadestown, Black Knight and Mineral.”

The challenge would come with 30 miles of 16-inch diameter metal gasoline line and “uprating” of 5.6 miles of present 12-inch line to accommodate the elevated stress and new gasoline provide.

Hope estimates that the challenge will generate about 600 jobs, which can make up about half the challenge value. Different main prices are the 30 miles of pipeline and 5 measurement and regulation stations.

The challenge is predicted to have an effect on 170 landowners and 233 land parcels.

The PSC additionally set a procedural schedule within the case. Workers and intervenor testimony is due by Dec. 4, with rebuttal testimony due Dec. 13. A public remark listening to is about for Dec. 13 and an evidentiary listening to on Dec. 14. Preliminary briefs are due Jan. 10 and reply briefs on Jan. 24.

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