Oil & Gas

10 Jul 2024

Largest Maine Natural Gas Provider Acquiring Second-Largest Supplier

10 Jul 2024  by powermag   
Unitil Corp., the largest provider of natural gas in Maine, on July 9 said it has a deal to purchase Bangor Natural Gas Co., which has been the state’s No. 2 provider of the fuel.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission, which still must approve the merger, said Unitil has about 27,000 customers in Maine, most in the areas of Portland, Lewiston, Auburn, and Kittery. Bangor Natural Gas has about 8,500 customers in the state and serves Bangor, Orono, and other areas. The PUC said the company also is installing a pipeline to serve Bucksport.

Unitil on Tuesday said it is paying about $71 million to PHC Utilities, a subsidiary of Hope Utilities, to buy Bangor Natural Gas. Unitil said Bangor Natural Gas owns and operates 351 miles of gas distribution pipelines, along with 9 miles of transmission pipelines.

“Bangor Natural Gas Company is a great complement to our current natural gas distribution operations in Maine,” Thomas P. Meissner, Unitil’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Bangor brings a strong management team that is committed to providing safe, clean, reliable, and affordable energy to customers. We share their dedication to serving communities in Maine by providing responsive, high-quality service through locally-managed operations.”

Pending PUC approval, Unitil said it expects to close the deal to make Bangor Natural Gas a wholly-owned subsidiary no later than the first quarter of 2025.

Unitil is headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire. The company serves about 88,400 customers in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. It also provides electricity service to about 108,500 customers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The state PUC said two other companies—Maine Natural Gas Corp., a subsidiary of AVANGRID, and Summit Natural Gas of Maine—also operate in the state.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has said its most recent data shows about 70% of Maine residents use petroleum products, including natural gas and oil, to heat their homes, the largest percentage of any state. The agency said Maine, which is about 90% covered by forest, is second only to Vermont in the amount of power generated from burning biomass.


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