An investor who wants to build a pipeline through Louisa County to reach a natural gas plant in Tidewater Virginia asked the State Corporation Commission to confirm that he doesn’t need its approval.

Irfan Ali, head of Northern Virginia-based Chickahominy Pipeline LLC, filed a petition for declaratory judgment with the commission on Sept. 3. His company, previously identified in The CV as Balico LLC, has had an SCC permit for the plant in Charles City County since 2018.

A number of landowners in Louisa and Hanover counties received letters from Ali’s company in July, asking them to allow surveyors on their property. Ali said in a published report he would try to route the pipeline to avoid land where it is not welcome.

Citing the state’s Utility Facilities Act, Ali argued the pipeline is not subject to the commission’s jurisdiction because it will only serve a single customer, the gas plant, and because his company is not a public utility like Dominion Energy.  

Ali said he was unable to come to an agreement to obtain gas from Virginia Natural Gas Inc., which provides service in the area where the plant is to be built. Instead, he intends to send gas to the plant from a connection to the Transco pipeline, which passes through western Louisa County.

Should the SCC agree, Ali would still need permits from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The investor requested that the SCC make a decision on his request by Nov. 1, given that the authority to construct the plant is set to expire in May 2023.


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