Sale of West Virginia’s Mountaineer Gas pending approval

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A Pennsylvania-based company has signed an agreement to purchase the parent company of West Virginia’s largest local gas distributor, The Register-Herald reported.

UGI Corporation of Pennsylvania has signed a $540 million agreement to buy the Delaware-based Mountaintop Energy Holdings LLC, which owns Mountaineer Gas. That would give UGI claim to all of Mountaineer’s operating assets. The sum includes $140 million in debt, according to a statement from UGI.

Mountaineer serves nearly 215,000 customers across 50 of West Virginia’s 55 counties.

The sale is pending approval by the West Virginia Public Service Commission, the regulatory agency that oversees public utilities, and is also subject to federal antitrust legislation. If approved, it is expected to close by June 2021, according to UGI.

UGI President and CEO John Walsh said the company will provide environmentally responsible gas services to West Virginia.

“We see significant investment opportunities to continue, if not accelerate, the replacement of over 1,500 miles of bare steel pipelines and expand the reach of natural gas in West Virginia to both unserved and underserved areas,” he stated in a news release. “These investments will improve the safety and reliability of the distribution system and align with our environmental efforts to lower methane and other (green house gas) emissions.”