January 23, 2020
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State divides up natural gas distribution contracts among rival companies

AUGUSTA, Maine — The State of Maine on Monday awarded natural gas delivery contracts to both Maine Natural Gas and Summit Natural Gas, rival companies competing for market share in central Maine’s natural gas distribution market.

The Bureau of General Services sought bids for natural gas delivery to 30 state-owned buildings in Augusta, Hallowell, Waterville and Vassalboro, according to a press release from the state.

The bureau, part of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, selected Brunswick-based Maine Natural Gas, owned by Iberdrola USA, to deliver natural gas to 19 facilities, including the Augusta Mental Health Institute power house, the Cross State Office Building, the Riverview Psychiatric Center and the Department of Health and Human Services main office in Augusta.

Augusta-based Summit Natural Gas, owned by Colorado-based Summit Utilities, received awards for 11 facilities, including the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations in Hallowell, the Maine Army National Guard’s headquarters at Camp Keyes and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.

The contract awards are subject to approval by the State Purchases Review Committee and the successful negotiation of a mutually acceptable contract, according to the state’s press release.

These distribution awards are the state’s first step in trying to connect state facilities to natural gas in hopes of reducing energy expenses. According to the state’s release, the bureau in the coming weeks will invite contractors to submit bids on converting the state-owned facilities to heat with natural gas. A third step will be to secure contracts for the purchase of natural gas supply.

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