Since 2014, NIPSCO has upgraded much of its electric and natural gas infrastructure across Northwest Indiana to deliver even safer energy and drive value for its customers. On Tuesday, November 15, NIPSCO held a recognition event to celebrate the half-completion milestone of its latest natural gas expansion project. NIPSCO leaders and union representatives gathered to reflect on the project’s progress and all the goodness that it continues to bring the community.
Construction on the project began in 2021 and is expected to last another two years. The gas expansion will include the installation of almost 34 miles of new natural gas steel pipeline, the rebuilding of six gas facilities, and the building of a new gas facility as well as three new customer gas facilities. These are big feats to celebrate, but Mike Hooper, president of NIPSCO, explained that the project is about so much more than upgrades.
“It’s less about the pipes, valves, nuts and bolts, and more about the fact that we are investing wisely to provide true value to our customers. The electricity that powers your home and the natural gas that heats your water are things that you can’t really see or touch, so this is the perfect opportunity to show off the work that our local workers have performed and show our customers the value that we are providing,” said Hooper.
The project has also been a great way to shed some light on all the hard work the unions have done in the community.
“On this project, there were 2,915 welds made. Every weld gets X-rayed for safety and out of the 2,915 welds, only 15 were rejected. That’s right around half a percent, which is absolutely unheard of. This project goes to show how much we as a union invests in training,” said Mark Antczak, business representative for Local 597.
Vice President of LIUNA Local 81 Corey Campbell was thankful to NIPSCO for being such a big supporter of unions and allowing union members to showcase their skills.
“This is so important because it highlights the capabilities of the union members who have trained for many hours and have dedicated their lives and careers to this work. I’d like to thank NIPSCO and NPL for their continued support and partnership that they have with the trades,” said Campbell.
All in all, everyone was grateful to come together and have the opportunity to work on such a great project.
“The participation of the unions that worked with NPL was really great. There was good, open dialogue, and it was very easy to recruit within the union and get the right people on the job site. I’m very thankful to everyone–we had so much great help out here,” said Dylan Hradek, President of NPL.
The project may only be half-complete, but the future is already looking bright as NIPSCO strives to serve its customers even more efficiently.
“We continue to upgrade, modernize, and expand our systems. We’re balancing our generation portfolio so that we will be sourced primarily from natural gas generation as well as wind and solar, and I just really think that we’re on the cutting edge. It’s helping us serve our customers more cost-effectively, and that will allow us to drive those savings and value back to the customer. So, this is just a really cool win,” said Hooper.
To learn more about NIPSCO, visit www.nipsco.com.