Public Service Electric and Gas, the state’s largest utility, wants to replace 1,250 miles of old gas mains, a project it says will create almost 3,000 jobs a year while work is done.
Newark-based PSE&G said its proposed five-year project, which still must be approved by the state Board of Public Utilities, would cost $2.7 billion, or about $540 million a year.
PSE&G serves 11 counties in New Jersey. It has just under 4,000 miles of cast-iron pipes, the most of any utility in the United States. About 25 percent of its network were pipes installed before 1960. They are the most leak prone and account for 65 percent of leaks, the utility said.
The proposal, filed recently with the BPU, is a continuation and acceleration of the utility’s Gas System Modernization Program. It is currently replacing 510 miles of gas mains over three years. Since January 2016, PSE&G has replaced 286 miles of pipes.
If approved, the utility can replace in 20 years its cast iron and unprotected steel pipes with modern plastic pipes.