Saratoga County

Gas line hearings set Tuesday for Malta chip plant

National Grid’s plans to build a new natural gas transmission line for the GlobalFoundries computer

National Grid’s plans to build a new natural gas transmission line for the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant will be the subject of two public hearings Tuesday at the Malta Town Hall.

The hearings will be at 2 and 6 p.m., each starting with an hour-long public information forum, followed by a public statement session, according to the state Public Service Commission.

The PSC is holding the hearings, with an administrative law judge presiding, as part of its review of National Grid’s application to build the line.

PSC records indicate no public concerns have been brought to the commission since National Grid’s application was filed in August.

The proposed 12-inch gas line would run for four miles, from an existing gas transmission line near Curtis Lumber in Ballston through the town of Malta. Generally, it would follow an existing power line right-of-way that also goes to GlobalFoundries.

The gas would be destined for the Luther Forest Technology Campus, where GlobalFoundries is now gearing up for commercial production starting late this year.

GlobalFoundries uses natural gas to heat and cool its factory building, to heat the millions of gallons of water used daily in its manufacturing process, and to power some pollution abatement systems, according to environmental impact documents it has provided to the town of Malta.

Those uses will require about 465,000 cubic feet of gas per hour, according to National Grid’s application — and more than twice that amount if a second computer chip plant is built on adjoining land, as called for in long-term plans for the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

GlobalFoundries is currently served by a medium-pressure gas line, but National Grid says it will need more capacity. The proposed gas line would be big enough to also serve other businesses that move to the Luther Forest Technology Campus in the future.

In addition to holding the public hearing, the PSC will accept written comments until Feb. 17.

Written comments may be mailed to the commission at Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, N.Y., 12223-1350, case “11-T-0462: National Grid — Ballston to Malta.” They may also be e-mailed through the commission’s web site.

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