VIDEO: Natural Gas Expansion in Chatham-Kent

A natural gas expansion project in Chatham-Kent promises to lower heating costs for residents while creating jobs for the local economy.

MPP Monte McNaughton, Ontario's minister of infrastructure, made that pledge Monday after announcing the expansion project during a news conference at Cedarline Greenhouses in Dresden.

"Our priority is creating and protecting good jobs for the people of Ontario," said Minister McNaughton. "By lowering energy costs, we're making businesses more competitive and sending the clear message that Ontario is open for business to create good jobs."

McNaughton said the Chatham-Kent project could expand natural gas to an estimated 1,300 households and 200 businesses.

The municipality estimates the additional natural gas capacity could bring an estimated 1,400 jobs in the greenhouse industry alone.

"The gas lines we are celebrating today will increase the local capacity of natural gas by the equivalent of an additional 350 acres of greenhouse," said Greg Devries, President and CEO of Truly Green Farms and Cedarline Greenhouses. "For every acre of greenhouse constructed, at least two direct jobs and two indirect jobs are created."

McNaughton claims switching from propane, electric heat or oil to natural gas can also save an average residential customer between $800 and $2,500 a year.

"I am pleased to stand with Minister McNaughton on this exciting natural gas announcement that will benefit rural and Northern Ontario, including First Nations. 

"Access to natural gas will be more cost effective for families putting more money back in their pockets plus making and creating more businesses and employment opportunities in Ontario" said Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls.

Premier Doug Ford promised a natural gas expansion while visiting the International Plowing Match in Chatham-Kent last summer.

The project is expected to begin in the summer of 2019 and is being led by Enbridge Gas.


— With files from CTV Windsor