Energy infrastructure is a key strength of the U.S. economy and a critical driver of industrial project siting. Mississippi, with over 10,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline, has abundant supply potential fitting for industrial growth. Forward focus on energy infrastructure enhancements to further increase Mississippi’s energy strengths will serve the state well in the highly competitive economic development contest among states.

Last week, Atmos Energy announced it will begin construction of 23 miles of natural gas pipelines to three industrial parks in east Mississippi next year.

The project is expected to be completed in three phases over six years without using any public funds.

David Gates, president of Atmos Energy and 2014 Chairman of the MS Energy Institute’s Board of Directors, said “When you’re going after these big and even medium size industrial prospects, they want everything. They want you to bring the site to them. They want a package, and this is part of that package,”

“It makes us now a player not just for heating a building, but for the manufacturing process, and natural gas used as an energy source. In the past where we may have been immediately eliminated because we didn’t have gas, now we will receive consideration by prospective companies.”

This initiative demonstrates the cooperation of Mississippi regulators, local leades, and business leaders to attract industrial investment and jobs into the state.