PennEast Pipeline expected to drive US$1.6 billion economic impact

The design and construction of the PennEast Pipeline will generate approximately US$1.6 billion in additional wages, revenues and investments to regional and state economies of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to a new Drexel University study released today.

“PennEast Pipeline Project Economic Impact Analysis,” co-authored by Econsult Solutions, finds that the proposed project would have a major, positive impact on the economies of the two states in which it would be built and operated.

According to researchers, design and construction of the PennEast Pipeline would support approximately 12 160 jobs and an associated US$740 million in wages. Additionally, the ongoing operation of the pipeline would generate approximately US$23 million in annual economic impact, supporting 98 jobs with US$8.3 million in wages. Even greater economic impact from ongoing operations would be realised from the new supply of natural gas to PennEast customers in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey markets.

“Drexel’s analysis illustrates the substantial economic benefit of the PennEast Pipeline,” said Peter Terranova, Chairman of the PennEast Pipeline board of managers. “As a large infrastructural improvement project, it will support thousands of jobs and generate more than a billion and a half dollars of economic activity in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The sustained long-term value of PennEast also would be realised in the form of lower energy bills to consumers.”

“This project will deliver what our region is most sorely in need of: jobs,” said Fred Potter, President of Teamsters Local Union 469 in New Jersey. “This project will put several hundred New Jersey tradesmen to work at a time when our economy is dependent on getting people back to work.”

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • The design and construction of the project will require an investment of US$1.19 billion by PennEast through the end of 2017.
  • The majority of the direct expenditures will be in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with some materials and labor sourced from other states.
  • The multi-year construction phase of the project is expected to result in direct, indirect and induced economic impact of US$1.6 billion and associated 12 160 jobs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; the six-county region of the project is expected to recognise the majority of this impact.
  • The ongoing operations of the project will generate an annual expenditure of US$13.2 million by PennEast, resulting in an expected US$23 million in annual economic impact and supporting 98 jobs; the six-county region of the project is expected to recognise the majority of this annual impact.
  • The study focuses on the supported workforce resulting from the project and its estimated contribution of more than US$17.5 million in personal income taxes during construction. Significant other federal, state and local taxes also would be generated, though not quantified in the report.
  • Numerous industries would benefit from the construction and on-going operations of the pipeline, including professional services and retail establishments.

“Using detailed construction and operations budget projections, our team designed a model to estimate the economic impact the design and construction activity, as well as ongoing pipeline operations, would generate,” said Stephen Mullin, President of Econsult Solutions.

“We find that the immediate construction and labor impacts of the PennEast Pipeline Project are substantial and would greatly benefit local communities through construction, labor and project management jobs,” said Vibhas Madan, Professor of economics at Drexel University LeBow College of Business. “Construction and ongoing operations of the project would be economically beneficial to the counties the pipeline would cross, as well as to both states as a whole. Lower energy bills lead to an increase in disposable income for consumers, allowing for additional spending in the economy. For instance, we estimate that every US$10 million in increased disposable income, derived from lower energy prices, would generate a total economic impact of US$13.5 million and support 90 jobs.”

The approximately 110 mile, 36 in. dia. PennEast Pipeline will transport approximately 1 billion ft3 of clean, natural gas per day – enough to serve approximately 4.7 million homes. It will run from Dallas, Luzerne County, in northeastern Pennsylvania, to Transco’s pipeline interconnection near Pennington, Mercer County, New Jersey.

“The PennEast Pipeline will provide affordable energy and security for years to come benefitting, families, manufacturers and power generators,” said Terranova. “We’re extremely excited to better understand the overall economic benefits the region will realise due to this project.”

Adapted from press release by Hannah Priestley-Eaton

Published on 10/02/2015

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