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Middlesex Water (MSEX) to Invest $10.2M in Infrastructure Upgrade

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Middlesex Water Company (MSEX - Free Report) recently announced an infrastructure replacement activity called RENEW 2021 through which it aims to invest $10.2 million beginning April. This investment will enable the utility to modernize drinking water infrastructure in the Borough of Metuchen via the replacement of 24,800 linear feet of water main as well as service lines, valves and fire hydrants.

This is part of the company’s Water for Tomorrow Program, in which it aims to spend $295 million in various projects through 2022 to strengthen its infrastructure in New Jersey. The RENEW 2021 program is expected to improve fire flows and overall service quality.

However, customers might experience water scarcity for two-three hours as their water service line is getting transferred. Also, there will be some impact on traffic to accommodate the installation of a water main. Completion of RENEW 2021 in Metuchen is expected to take six to nine months while road restoration will follow at a later date.

Need for Investments

Aging of the water infrastructure is a primary reason for leakage and wastage of valuable potable water. Timely repair and maintenance of weathered pipelines along with expansion of the existing water infrastructure are needed to meet increasing demand for potable water. Notably, Middlesex Water Company is investing on a regular basis in enhancing its existing water and wastewater infrastructure as well as expanding operations through buyouts.

Clean water supply on a 24x7 basis is essential for maintaining hygiene and meeting daily chores. Pipelines of millions of miles, storage tanks, pumps, desalination plants and water refineries work in tandem to deliver clean and potable water for meeting daily requirements. However, aging of water and wastewater infrastructure as well as water main failures are the biggest concerns for water utilities.

The only solution to the above problem is to update and replace the aging water infrastructure but a huge amount of investment is required to that end. Per the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, an estimated $750 billion worth investment is necessary to maintain and expand the drinking water and wastewater service to address demand over the next 20 years.

In this context, it is imperative to mention that alike Middlesex Water Company, other water utility providers are also investing vigorously in keeping their infrastructure up to date, thereby offering reliable services to their customers. Evidently, Essential Utilities (WTRG - Free Report) is also making regular investments in improving the existing water and wastewater systems. Its long-term plan is to invest nearly $3 billion through 2023 in rehabilitating and strengthening water as well as natural gas pipeline systems. Also, American Water Works (AWK - Free Report) has plans in investing $10.4 billion in the 2021-2025 time period and $22-$25 billion in the next decade. Another water utility Global Water Resources (GWRS - Free Report) is making acquisitions and the necessary investments in expanding as well as reinforcing operations along with bettering the acquired assets for providing efficient services to customers.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) utility have gained 7% against the industry’s decline of 5.2% in the past month. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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