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Consumers Energy invests $150 million to strengthen, expand natural gas lines in Michigan

Published 8:11am Friday, June 6, 2014

JACKSON, Mich. — Consumers Energy is spending over $150 million this year to strengthen and expand its natural gas system throughout Michigan.

“This work is part of our ongoing plan to provide safe, reliable natural gas service in communities we serve,” said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy’s vice president of energy delivery. “We are proud that these efforts involve putting more Michiganders to work. Consumers Energy has hired an additional 450 skilled employees over the past two years who are dedicated to a significant portion of this work.”

The gas system improvements will upgrade portions of Consumers Energy’s 29,000 miles of distribution and transmission gas pipelines that serve 1.7 million natural gas customers in Michigan. The company’s $82 million enhanced infrastructure program includes 59 projects to replace 88 miles of pipeline.

Key enhancement projects for 2014 include:

• 18 projects in numerous cities within Oakland and Wayne counties

• 12 projects in Flint, Burton, Mt. Morris, and Imlay City

• Nine projects in Kalamazoo and Decatur

• Seven projects in Saginaw, Bay City, Kochville and Bangor Township

• Seven projects in Lansing, Webberville, Williamston and Portland

• Three projects in Hastings and Owosso

• Two projects in Alma

• One project in Tecumseh

These projects are in addition to more than $68 million that Consumers Energy will spend this year to expand and enhance other areas of its statewide natural gas system:

More than $21 million to replace or move natural gas lines and related infrastructure due to civic improvement projects such as road and sewer work

Nearly $17 million to accommodate new business growth as the state’s economy continues to improve

More than $26 million to add more than 2,500 new customers to its natural gas system, who are switching from another heating fuel, such as propane.

Over $4 million to upgrade service to existing customers in targeted areas.   Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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