NY Paper Plant Opts for “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline Over Real One

virtual pipelineLast year International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill in northern New York, near the Vermont border, received $1.75 million in grant money from Andrew Cuomo and New York State (that is to say, from we the taxpayers) to help with an $11 million project to convert the plant from using oil to using natural gas (see the Albany Times Union story: $100M in upgrades at International Paper mill in Ticonderoga follows state deal for aid, cheap power). Kind of ironic that Andy was willing to give big money to an evil corporation to use more natural gas because he banned the extraction of fracked natural gas in NY later that same year. However, the plant was threatening to close. It’s the biggest employer in the area representing 600 jobs. Because of Cuomo’s $1.75M grant, the plant stayed open and converted to natgas, but that means it needs a lot of natgas on a regular basis. International Paper had planned to build a pipeline from Vermont to feed the plant as a permanent solution. In the meantime, it was using a “virtual pipeline” of a constant stream of trucks delivering¬†compressed natural gas (CNG) from NG Advantage (subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp.), trucking CNG to the plant 24/7. International liked the CNG operation so much, and disliked the regulatory hassles of building the pipeline so much, they’ve decided to keep the virtual pipeline over a real one as a permanent solution…

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