NiSource can pass on Columbia pipeline upgrade costs to customers

NEW YORK Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:35pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 25 (Reuters) - NiSource Inc got federal energy regulatory approval on Friday to pass through to customers the costs of upgrading its Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline and infrastructure.

Customers who ship gas on the line will initially get a rate reduction before the costs are passed on at a later date, a spokeswoman said.

Columbia will invest approximately $300 million per year, as well as an additional $100 million for ongoing maintenance, between 2013 and 2017 to replace aging infrastructure, upgrade compressor systems and expand inspection capabilities.

The pipeline transports an average of 3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in 10 U.S. Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states.

The company will work on updating the infrastructure in states including Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, it said in a press release.

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