Crews installing the natural gas trunk line into Homer and Kachemak City have energized a 17 mile stretch of the pipe. It’s the next step in connecting homes and businesses in both towns to the service.
It’s been a few years in the making, but natural gas in finally flowing through portions of the pipeline that snakes its way from Anchor Point, down Baycrest Hill, into Homer and along East End Road to Kachemak City. John Sims is the Director of Business Development with Enstar Natural Gas Company. He said on Friday, crews were able to purge the line of any oxygen that may be in the newly constructed pipe.
“Your natural gas appliances run off of natural gas, so any time you get any other chemical in there… it’s not good for appliances and not good for the pipeline,” he said.
It took a few hours to work through the process and Sims said everything went just like it was supposed to.
“It was something that was very well planned by the project team,” he said.
He said in general things have been going well and feedback from both communities has been positive. Sims said this type of work is old-hat for the company. But issues and concerns can sometimes pop up when crews begin construction in a new area. Especially with three projects going on at once.
“One is the trunk line. We expect that to be completed this fall. The second project is the Homer distribution system and that’s a two-year project. Really, for that project, we’re gonna go as long as the weather permits us. So hopefully we’re working well into September and October. And the last one is Kachemak City and we’re expecting that to be done at the end of this fall as well,” he said.
Sims said Enstar is still accepting applications for service lines and meters. This year’s installation cost is around $1,250. Enstar officials have said that rate may change during next year’s phase of construction.
“As those come in the door, we’ll try to get them installed this year. But that’s all weather depending,” he said.
So far the company plans to install roughly 1,000 meters in homes and businesses. Sims said he expects another spike in meter requests once natural gas is flowing through the pipes and into the distribution systems.