Consumers Energy finishes $164M upgrades to South Oakland Macomb Network pipeline

Published on January 10, 2023 by Chris Galford

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Nearly 30 miles of pipe were replaced and nearly 17 miles added as part of Consumers Energy’s South Oakland Macomb Network natural gas pipeline project in Michigan, which finished work in late 2022.

The project cost approximately $164 million, encompassing 15 projects over a four-year process. Part of Consumers’ larger 10-year natural gas delivery plan, it focused on replacing lines, in many cases installed in the 1940s, as well as city gates. Gas pressure is regulated at city gates for safe delivery. With everything in place, nearly 2 million Michigan homes and businesses could stand to benefit, and Consumers should now be able to move a higher volume of gas through the region quicker, more safely, and efficiently. As a side benefit, the company added this should also reduce customer costs and allow it to better meet growing customer demand.

“The more quickly and safely we can provide natural gas to Michiganders, the better it is for our customers and the planet,” Dennis Dobbs, Consumers Energy’s vice president of gas engineering and supply, said. “We are aware of how important it is we do everything we can to keep costs down to ensure families and businesses have the gas they need to stay safe and warm this winter. When we invest in improvements to our pipelines, what we are truly investing in is our customers.”

Environmental inspectors toured the site daily as part of company plans to inflict minimal impact on the environment. It added that its methods helped reduce the need for tree removal, prevented erosion, and protected local wildlife, such as butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.