SJIannounced that it has received the necessary regulatory approval from the State of Maryland Public Service Commission for the proposed acquisition of Maryland-based Elkton Gas assets from Pivotal Utilities Inc., a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas.
The purchase is part of a larger transaction that also includes the acquisition of New Jersey-based Elizabethtown Gas.
“The acquisition of Elizabethtown and Elkton Gas is a great fit for SJI and reinforces our commitment to high quality, regulated earnings growth,” said Michael J. Renna, CEO, SJI. “We look forward to completing this transformational deal and welcoming Elizabethtown Gas and Elkton Gas into the SJI family of companies. Together, we will further our commitment to operational excellence and an outstanding customer experience.”
Pending the state approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for the acquisition of Elizabethtown Gas and satisfaction of other closing conditions, the transaction is anticipated to close in mid-2018. Upon closing, SJI will become the second largest natural gas provider in New Jersey and the third largest local gas distribution company in the country, with service to more than 681,000 customers.
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The utility provides natural gas in the Elkton, MD area, but under multiple owners never made major additions to its territory. That left Cecil County with limited natural gas service, a drawback in economic development efforts.
More recently, Dover, DE-based Chesapeake Utilities entered the Cecil County market and added natural gas service in some areas.