NiSource Inc. is
reporting a net income in the first quarter of 2019 of $218.9 million or 55
cents basic earnings per share, compared to $276.1 million or 82 cents in
the year-ago period.
Those results “were
driven primarily by our team’s continued execution of our long-term utility
infrastructure modernization programs,” NiSource President and CEO Joe
Hamrock said in a statement released on Wednesday. “These programs are the
foundation of our focus on safety enhancements to the gas distribution
system across our footprint. In addition, we continue to advance our
electric generation strategy in Indiana, and we are well-positioned to
deliver on our commitments to 2019.”
NiSource expects to
make capital investments of $1.6-1.7 billion in 2019 and of $1.6-2.0 billion
annually from 2020 through 2022.
said--in the aftermath of the disastrous natural-gas explosion last
September in Greater Lawrence, Mass., in a system operated by one of its
subsidiaries, Columbia Gas--that it’s working to improve safety measures.
“The company is also making progress with the installation of automatic
shut-off devices on its low-pressure systems. Initial pilot projects have
been completed and installation work has begun across the company’s
operating area. These automatic shut-off devices provide an additional level
of control and protection, operating like circuit breakers. When the device
senses an operating pressure that is too high or too low, it is designed to
immediately shut down natural gas in the system, regardless of the cause.”
NiSource did add
that work continues on restoration following the explosions, which killed
one person and left many others homeless or without gas service.
“Restoration efforts continue to progress in the Merrimack Valley following
the September 2018 event in Greater Lawrence, with a dedicated team
providing support to impacted customers,” the company said.
“With the end of
the winter heating system, work has begun to replace heating equipment that
was repaired in the weeks after the event,” NiSource noted. “Approximately
875 customers will receive new furnaces or boilers, with installations
expected to be completed by Sept. 15, 2019. The company continues to process
customer claims, provide equipment repair support on appliances heating
equipment, and restore private and community property affected by last
fall’s construction work.”
Operating Income by
$275.4 million ($321.7 million in the year-ago).
million ($83.1 million in the year-ago).
other: $3.8 million (an operating loss of $4.2 million in the year-ago).
income: $374.2 million ($400.6 million in the year-ago).