Chesterton Tribune



NiSource subsidiary gas disaster hits 3Q bottom line

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The Greater Lawrence, Mass., natural-gas pipeline disaster--a series of explosions on Sept. 13 which killed one person, destroyed dozens of homes, and displaced 8,000 people, apparently caused by an over-pressurization in the distribution lines of NiSource Inc. subsidiary Columbia Gas of Massachusetts--has put NiSource in the red in the third quarter.

NiSource was reporting today a net loss of $345.1 million or 95 cents per share, compared to a net income in the year-ago period of $14 million or 4 cents.

The company’s third-quarter results include $461.9 million in expenses “related to third-party claims and other expenses associated with the Sept. 13, 2018, incident on its gas-distribution system in the Greater Lawrence, Mass., area.”

“Those expenses are expected to be substantially recovered through insurance,” NiSource added. “However, no recovery amounts have been recorded as of Sept. 30.”

“We are deeply humbled by what happened in Massachusetts, and realize that much work lies ahead of us to finish the service restoration in the Lawrence area, and to regain the trust of our customers and communities,” NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock said. “We continue to marshal the needed resources and adjust our approach to best accommodate and meet our customers’ needs.”

“Safety and the care of our customers is the foundation of our business,” Hamrock added. “Although the reviews of what occurred are not complete, NiSource is taking steps across our seven-state footprint to enhance the safety of low-pressure systems. These enhancements will benefit all customers and communities we serve across seven states.”

NiSource said that its crews and contractors have completed 100 percent of the 45-mile accelerated distribution system replacement needed to make homes and businesses “Gas Ready “ in the Greater Lawrence area, while work remains on making homes and businesses “House Ready” so that gas service can be restored.

3Q Operating Income

* Gas distribution: an operating loss of $455.2 million (operating loss of $15.2 million in the year-ago).

* Electric: an operating income of $134.9 million (operating income of $125.1 in the year-ago).

* Corporate and other: an operating income of $4.4 million (operating income of $1.5 million in the year-ago).

* Total operating loss in the 3Q: $315.9 million (operating income of $111.2 million in the year-ago).


Posted 11/1/2018




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