FLORIDA (From news reports) -- In 2022, the International Paper mill in Cantonment will switch natural gas suppliers to Pensacola Energy, significantly increasing revenue for the municipal utility while saving money for IP.
"Pensacola Energy offered natural gas at competitive rates and we look forward to our relationship with them," Whitney Fike, IP communications manager, said.
"It's not often that a gas utility gets to add a major industrial customer like that, and we are fortunate to be able to secure a supply of gas that is costing them less than their current supply," Pensacola Energy Director Don Suarez said. "That addition of International Paper will increase our throughput, our sales, next year by about 14%."
"Utilities are slow growth businesses, so 14% increase in one year is significant for us. So we are real excited about that," Suarez continued.
Pensacola Energy was able to offer IP a lower natural gas price than they are currently paying because of a discount from a prepaid gas agreement, according to Kaycee Lagarde, public information officer for the City of Pensacola.
Area residents won't see any digging, new pipes or any physical changes around the IP mill in Cantonment with the new gas supplier.
"Pensacola Energy is working through our current supplier to deliver the gas and bill International Paper, so this will be a strictly transactional change," Lagarde said. " No digging or pipe changes will be necessary, and the gas will flow just like it currently does through the pipeline."