$1 million pipeline investment grant in Elk County announced

The Commonwealth Financing Authority has approved a $1 million state grant for Domtar Paper Co.’s installation of a 3-mile pipeline to its facility in Elk County, announced state Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway.

Scarnati, who was instrumental in securing funding for the project, explained that Domtar Paper Co. owns and operates the paper mill in Johnsonburg Borough where the pipeline will be installed. The project will consist of converting two existing coal-fired boilers to natural gas by partnering with Hunt Marcellus.

In order to support the conversion to natural gas, the new gas pipeline will be constructed to supply the facility. Due to the savings of the conversion, it will allow the company to invest an additional $12 million into upgrades for the facility over the next three years. In addition, the conversion savings and efficiencies will allow the company to retain its current workforce of 355 full-time jobs.

“The Pipeline Investment Program was created last year as part of the state budget and I am pleased that we will soon be seeing local benefits from the program,” Scarnati said.

According to Scarnati, the financing was approved at the Jan. 24 authority meeting in Harrisburg. The program provides grants to construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines to business parks, existing manufacturing and industrial enterprises, which will result in the creation and retention of local jobs. Funds also may be used for acquisition, construction and site preparation costs associated with extending natural gas pipelines.

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