Portal gets a new natural gas provider
The city of Portal, near the Canadian Border in Burke County, will soon have a new natural gas provider.
Right now, Sask Energy – a Canadian company – is providing the gas service to Portal, and the city owns the distribution system.
"Sask Energy informed the city that it would require additional insurance in order to renew that agreement," said North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "The city determined that the cost of the additional insurance was not affordable."
Fedorchak said that's when Portal Mayor Lisa Smith approached MDU.
"They reached an agreement to construct a new system," Fedorchak said. She said the city approved a franchise agreement for MDU – and the utility will own the new distribution system. Fedorchak also said the city will be receiving a Community Development Block Grant from the state of North Dakota, to help cover some of the costs.
"MDU's proposed rates represent a reduction in natural gas costs for the customers," Fedorchak said.
The proposed in-service date for MDU is late 2023 – but it could be moved back, because of the approval process for the block grant. Fedorchak said Smith also worked out a deal with Sask Energy to continue to provide natural gas until the new system is in place.