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October 30, 2006
LA RONGE NATURAL GAS SERVICE RECEIVES GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The province will contribute $14 million to help bring natural gas to La Ronge and Weyakwin, Minister responsible for SaskEnergy Andrew Thomson announced today in La Ronge.
The total capital cost to extend natural gas service to La Ronge is $20.1 million. The Government of Saskatchewan is providing a $7 million grant for this project, matching SaskEnergy's $7 million investment. The remaining $6.1 million will come as a result of residential and commercial customer contributions.
"The introduction of natural gas will reduce energy costs, allow businesses to diversify and expand, and help make life more affordable for northerners," Thomson said. "It is an important part of our plan to support the North."
"La Ronge and Weyakwin area residents and businesses will no longer experience some of the highest energy costs in Saskatchewan, as they will soon have access to natural gas service," Northern Affairs Minister Joan Beatty said. "The economic benefits of natural gas service for this region will provide new opportunities, especially in the area of job creation for northern youth, as our government continues to work to make life better for all Saskatchewan families. At this time, I want to thank the members of the La Ronge Gas Committee, the Lac La Ronge First Nation, municipal leaders and the business community in La Ronge for their continued support of this project."
Residents of La Ronge can save up to 40 per cent on their energy costs by converting from current fuel sources to natural gas space and water heating. The average residential customer will be able to convert their home to natural gas within a payback period of five years.
SaskEnergy's natural gas network was extended from Prince Albert north to Anglin Lake, McPhee Lake, Waskesiu, Elk Ridge and Montreal Lake in 1999, which was Phase I of the project that contemplated service all the way up to the La Ronge area.
Pending the results of customer interest in this service offering, construction of the natural gas pipeline from Montreal Lake to La Ronge could begin in 2007 and be complete by spring 2008.
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