North Carolina Economic Development Guide


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 83

20 N O R T H C A R O L I N A E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T G U I D E The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a proposed $5 billion conduit for natural gas that will roughly parallel Interstate 95 for nearly 200 miles in eastern North Carolina. When completed in late 2018, it could reduce or stabilize energy costs for these manufacturers and others by more than $130 million a year, according to economic studies commissioned by its builders. It could also reassure prospective new industries of the volume and reliability they need and trigger development on a scale unseen in eastern North Carolina. Natural gas, which emits half as many carbon pollutants as coal, is soaring in demand from industries and utilities seeking lower energy costs and environmental bragging rights, says David Trusty, a spokesman for Piedmont Natural Gas Co., whose territory covers eastern North Carolina. He compares the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's impact on North Carolina to "bringing a major interstate to a region that didn't have one previously." Nucor spokeswoman Katherine Miller says the company is keeping a keen eye on the pipeline's progress through federal and state regulatory and licensing channels. It uses electricity to power its furnaces that melt the scrap metal and natural gas to fi re its tempering, reheating and austenitizing — or hardening — operations. "We couldn't operate without it," she says of natural gas. As with other Tar Heel homes and businesses that rely on electricity, the pipeline's reach will exceed its signature blue fl ame. "With natural gas being used in greater and greater amounts to generate electricity, our indirect use of it through electricity consumption is also growing." Others in eastern North Carolina are eager for the pipeline too. In Greenville, John Chaff ee, president of NCEast Alliance, a private nonprofi t economic- development agency whose area encompasses more than a million residents, hopes it will put an end to tales echoed by many of the region's industry hunters. "Over my almost 40- year career, I've repeatedly had companies tell me, 'Sorry, we can't consider that site because the gas company is telling us it can't guarantee a good supply of natural gas,'" he says. "This, we think, will be largely a remedy for that circumstance." Over the last 15 years, Rocky Mount has had numerous industry prospects that needed more gas than the city or Piedmont could off er, says Worsinger, who until recently was chairman of Washington, D.C.-based American Public Gas Association, representing about 700 municipal gas utilities. "They were always told the same thing: 'We're maxed out.' They say, 'Thank you, but we're going [some place] where more natural gas is available.' Now, I'm going to have a huge transmission pipeline running just west of Rocky Mount." The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will traverse eight counties in North Carolina, beginning in Northampton and ending in Robeson, refl ecting $1.2 billion in capital expenditures in the state. Charleston Clarksburg Raleigh Lumberton Richmond 95 95 A N N UA L L Y , T H E AT L A N T I C COA S T P I P E L I N E I S E X P E C T E D TO G E N E R AT E : $48 MILLION L A B O R I N C O M E B E N E F I T I N N C $82 MILLION G R O S S S TAT E P R O D U C T $134 MILLION AV E R A G E E N E R G Y C O S T S AV I N G S F O R N C C O N S U M E R S $11.7 MILLION I N E C O N O M I C A C T I V I T Y I N N C 925 JOBS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of North Carolina Economic Development Guide - 2017