One of two North Carolina offices for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be just east of Smithfield.
Dominion, a company that produces and transports energy, will build the $5 billion, 600-mile pipeline, which will carry natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina. Its Smithfield office will be on Jr Road, which is off of U.S. 70 Business east of town.
The office will oversee operation and maintenance of the pipeline, said Aaron Ruby, manager of media relations for Dominion. The office will be on the same grounds as a metering and regulation station the company will build for the pipeline, he said.
Dominion chose Smithfield because of its location, Ruby said. “Smithfield is basically the halfway point between our regional office in Northampton County and the terminus of the pipeline in Robeson County,” he said.
The five full-time employees of the Smithfield office will be responsible for inspecting and monitoring the pipeline and maintaining corrosion-protection systems. Ruby said he did not have salary ranges for the jobs. The employees will be a mix of new hires and transfers from within Dominion, he said.
The company expects to start construction of the pipeline and the Smithfield office early next year. Already, customers have signed on to purchase nearly all of the gas that will flow through the pipeline, Dominion said.
Company President Diane Leopold said the pipeline would feed a growing hunger for a cleaner fuel alternative to coal, the leading source of carbon-dioxide pollution. Purchase agreements are in place for 96 percent of the pipeline’s capacity, Leopold said.
Dominion is partnering with Duke Energy and other energy companies to build the pipeline. Last week, the company outlined the status of the project:
▪ In the past 18 months, the company has surveyed 450 miles of the pipeline’s route.
▪ More than 90 percent of the 2,800 landowners along the pipeline's path have allowed survey teams on their land, and 500 have signed easements.
▪ In a few weeks, a mill in Pennsylvania will begin making the steel pipe for the project under a $400 million contract.
Dominion expects the pipeline to start delivering gas in late 2018.
Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett