UGI starts construction on gas pipeline to Hummel power project in Pa.

UGI Energy Services LLC on Aug. 24 celebrated the start of construction of its Sunbury Pipeline with a groundbreaking ceremony near the Panda Hummel Station power plantn that it will serve.

UGI Energy Services President Brad Hall welcomed nearly 100 guests to the ceremony. UGI, he told the gathering, is pleased to be a part of a partnership with Panda Power Funds on the project.

“The Sunbury Pipeline Project represents an incremental step forward for Pennsylvania natural gas infrastructure, and a major step forward for Pennsylvania’s energy future,” Hall said. “UGI is excited to continue its more than century-long tradition of putting natural gas to work for Pennsylvania by fueling the state-of-the-art Hummel Station along with enhancing local natural gas supplies.”

Gladys M. Brown, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, stressed the importance of new pipeline capacity such as the Sunbury Pipeline. “Pennsylvania continues to set new records in natural gas production, breaking 4.6 trillion cubic feet last year. Projects like the Sunbury Pipeline provide new capacity to leverage that record production,” Brown said.

Joe Lloyd, Vice President of Operations for Panda Power Funds, emphasized what the Sunbury Pipeline means for Panda’s mission to generate clean electricity. “Panda is thrilled to be constructing one of the largest coal to natural gas power replacement projects in the United States, which would not be possible without the Sunbury Pipeline,” Lloyd said. 

The 35-mile-long Sunbury Pipeline is located entirely within north central Pennsylvania. When it is finished at the end of 2016, it will carry natural gas from the Transco interstate pipeline in eastern Lycoming County and travel through parts of Montour, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties on its way to the power plant in Shamokin Dam.

UGI Energy Services is a subsidiary of UGI Corp. (NYSE: UGI). Its midstream services division builds, owns and operates natural gas storage facilities and high-pressure transmission and gathering lines. The company also owns and operates LNG and propane peaking facilities and terminals in Pennsylvania. UGI Energy Services also owns coal, natural gas and renewable-fueled generating assets.

Founded in 2010, Panda Power Funds is a private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas, that develops, owns, operates and manages investments in clean energy. Panda has five combined-cycle power plants in operation in Texas and Pennsylvania, and two combined-cycle power plants currently under construction in Pennsylvania and Virginia with a combined capacity of more than 5,800 MW. Panda Power Funds also has a 990-MW power project in Maryland in advanced development.

In other recent news for the project:

  • UGI Sunbury LLC, a subsidiary of UGI Energy Services, said May 2 that it has received a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct and operate this ppieline. The Sunbury Pipeline will bring new natural gas supplies to homes and businesses in central Pennsylvania. One of the primary end-users is the Hummel Station, a 1,124 MW combined-cycle power plant being built at the site of the shuttered coal-fired Sunbury Generation Facility near Shamokin Dam, Snyder County.
  • TRC Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRR) said Jan. 7 that it has completed air and water permitting for the Panda Hummel Station. It will replace the retired Sunbury coal-fired plant, which was permanently shut down in 2014.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.