Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) is planning to divest its 10% stake in the PennEast pipeline project in the US.

The 115-mile PennEast pipeline, which is estimated to cost $1.2bn, is designed to transport Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.

 PSEG said that it is exploring a sale of its minority stake in the interstate natural gas pipeline project, which is subject to approval by the PennEast Board.

By selling the stake, the firm intends to increase its focus on its core business, including power plants.

PennEast pipeline, which is expected to be operational in the second half of 2018, can carry around one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. It is yet to receive approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In September 2014, PSEG Power had joined the $1bn pipeline project in New Jersey, which will begin in Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania and end at Transco's Trenton-Woodbury interconnection in New Jersey.

PSEG Power president Bill Levis said: “This project will provide PSE&G customers with greater and more reliable access to affordable natural gas.

“We look forward to being a PennEast customer. We’ve decided to put our focus on our core business – constructing three new combined cycle power plants and running our diverse fleet of generation plants.”

In response to the PSEG statement, ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation campaign director Tom Gilbert said: "PSEG is clearly concerned about owning a piece of this project. 

“The other companies behind PennEast – New Jersey Natural Gas, Elizabethtown Gas, and South Jersey Gas – should follow PSEG's lead on this.”