Ste. Anne Natural Gas Co-op Ltd. was formed because rural residents wanted to be able to use natural gas to heat their homes. SANG began delivering gas in late 1972 with a membership of 731 and installed 343 miles of plastic pipe.
On April 19, 1972, at a meeting in Onoway, Alberta, Ste. Anne Natural Gas Co-op was formed. Twenty-four people were elected to form the first Board of Directors. Today, we service over 6700 natural gas members, have a service area of 3350 square kilometres, and we maintain over 2109 kilometres of the gas pipeline with 26 full-time employees and nine Board Members. Ste. Anne Natural Gas Co-op is the most extensive rural gas distribution system in Alberta. As a company, we strive to provide outstanding service and the lowest possible rates to our members.
Since its inception in late 1972, Ste. Anne Natural Gas Co-op has been serving natural gas to residents in the County of Lac Ste. Anne and expanded to several other counties. It all started with an Onoway hog farmer, Henry Tomlinson. Tomlinson was unsuccessful in getting gas services in the 1960s, even when Northwestern laid pipeline within three miles of his farm.
For five years he and a handful of neighbours asked Northwestern to be connected and each year they were told it was not "economically feasible." In early 1972 Tomlinson and his friends contacted everyone within 14 miles to inquire about interest in gas service. They planned 200 service locations. Superior Natural Gas Distribution responded with a rate per hook up, and a meeting ensued at the Onoway Community Hall.
Among the 200 that showed up was a co-op enthusiast by the name of Helmut Entrup who introduced the idea of creating a co-op instead of going with Superior. A vote occurred right away to form a co-op, and a provisional board of 24 directors was elected; Tomlinson was made Chairman. The directors met with Harold Webber who explained the basics of cooperatives and officially incorporated them. Engineers were then hired to design and oversee construction.
Directors signed up members who covered the cost of engineering and eventually signed contracts to begin construction in September 1972. Construction pushed on through a bitterly cold winter with crews made up of 40 men. They burned coal and straw to thaw the frozen ground and worked the backhoes, bulldozers, cats and plows. By February 1973 the most significant rural gas distribution system in Alberta was complete.