BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Eversource has announced they will purchase Columbia Gas, the company at the heart of the 2018 Merrimack Valley gas fires and explosions, for $1.1 billion.
The news means Columbia Gas's operations will be brought under local ownership by the largest energy company in New England.
“Eversource is uniquely positioned to leverage the strengths of our current and future workforce, facilities, gas supply resources and business processes to achieve greater operational efficiency, while continuing to deliver on our unwavering commitment to safety and superior service for our customers,” Eversource Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Judge said in a release.
The acquisition was announced the same day Columbia Gas was ordered to pay the largest criminal fine ever imposed under the pipeline safety act—$53 million.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera wrote on Facebook that he hopes that "before the company actually changes hands it lives up to all of its responsibilities financial and otherwise."
"The prospects of Eversource taking over brings with it a level of trust given that they came in under the Governor's emergency order and made quick work of getting people back in their homes after the explosions," Rivera said. "They will have to work to earn long term trust from customers who are scared and skeptical of the product and service. They have shown us to date that they can focus on people no just gas lines. Glad that we can begin to turn the page."
(Photo: Getty Images)