Black Hills Energy has submitted a request to the Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC) to consolidate four its gas utilities in the state into one new legal entity, by the name Black Hills Wyoming Gas.

The company proposes to consolidate Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company-Gas, Black Hills Energy, a division of Cheyenne Light, Black Hills Northwest Wyoming Gas Utility Company and the Wyoming assets of Black Hills Gas Distribution into the new entity Black Hills Wyoming Gas.

Black Hills Energy has also submitted a regulatory rate review application with the WPSC to consolidate the tariffs, rates and terms and conditions of service across its existing gas territories in the state.

The rate review proposes new rates to recover investments in safety, reliability and system integrity for its 129,500 Wyoming natural gas customers.

If WPSC approves, the new natural gas service delivery rates could be effective from early next year for Black Hills Wyoming Gas customers across 56 communities.

Last year, the company invested $49m (£38.5m) and plans to invest $106m (£83.4m) this year to replace, upgrade and maintain more than 9,600km of transmission and distribution pipelines in the state, which is touted to be critical infrastructure needed to meet system growth needs and to ensure safe and reliable supply of natural gas for its home and business customers.

Wyoming Operations vice president Shirley Welte said: “In the Casper and Douglas areas, we are constructing the Natural Bridge pipeline, a 35-mile transmission project, to add additional sources of supply and increase pipeline capacity to meet long-term peak day demand.

“In the Laramie area we have started work on the Snowy Range Loop, a 4.5-mile pipeline needed to provide reliability due to customer load growth.

“These and numerous other investments across the state will improve safety and reliability by replacing aging infrastructure, while meeting compliance requirements of state and federal regulations. Our investments will also support the local economy, people and businesses of the communities we serve.”