Natural gas utilities in the Northeast are continuing to cut off gas service to select customers during times of cold weather because they lack the pipeline capacity to serve all their customers.

recent report by the Republican Herald of Pottsville, Pa., highlighted the plight of Sapa Industrial Extrusions, in Cressona, Pa. Sapa was recently forced to curtail operations and furlough 330 employees after UGI Central Penn Gas Co., announced that it would interrupt Sapa’s gas service.

“Sapa’s Cressona operation was directed by our natural gas provider, UGI, to curtail our usage of natural gas,” explained Richard A. Worst, operations manager at Sapa. “We understand this restriction was implemented in order to help UGI distribute the natural gas to other customers within the county, since the infrastructure to pump the natural gas was not able to handle the flow of natural gas to their increasing customer base during this extreme cold.”

Sapa is an interruptible gas customer, which means they have agreed to have their service interrupted during periods of cold weather. The latest interruption forced Sapa to cease its Cressona operations for three-and-a-half days in late January. Similar factory shutdowns have been reported in New Hampshire, Maine and elsewhere.

Natural gas supply problems are also cropping up in New York, which has recently experienced record high natural gas prices. National Grid recently notified interruptible customers that they must be prepared to switch fuels this week because the temperature is expected to drop below 20 degrees.

To read the Republican Herald article, click here.