$20 million deal advances diversification of Elm City energy firm


NEW HAVEN — UIL Holdings Corp., parent of the United Illuminating Co., has purchased a 14.6-million gallon liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility and related assets in Milford from subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, Inc. for approximately $20 million.

UIL consummated the purchase through its subsidiary on July 31. The Milford facility is operated by the Southern Connecticut Gas Co., which UIL acquired from Iberdrola in 2010 as part of a larger deal that also included Connecticut Natural Gas Corp. and the Berkshire Gas Co.

“Our natural-gas supply system is designed to provide gas to firm customers under all weather conditions, and it works,” said James P. Torgerson, UIL Holdings’ president and CEO. “This transaction is another prudent investment we are making to ensure we meet customers’ demands now but is inclusive of our growing customer base.”

The UIL Holdings’ gas-supply portfolio now includes three liquefied natural gas plants.  Besides the plant in Milford, the other two facilities are in Rocky Hill and Whately, Mass. Combined, these two other facilities have a storage capacity of more than 14.6 million gallons for liquefied natural gas.  This LNG diversification presents another supply option that can be utilized in times of high demand.

Liquefied natural gas traditionally is used to supplement natural gas supplies, particularly during the peak periods of winter. Liquefied natural gas is stored in specially designed facilities. When it is needed, the liquefied gas is heated, converted to vapor and injected into distribution pipelines.