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MDU asks ND for 6.4 percent natural gas rate hike

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. is asking North Dakota regulators for a 6.4 percent increase in its natural gas rates. The request would raise a typical residential customer's natural gas bill by about $5.15 a month.

President and chief executive officer Frank Morehouse says the company has made "significant'' investments in its natural gas infrastructure and the increase is needed to help recover the costs.

MDU's proposed natural gas increase would raise $6.8 million in additional revenues for the Bismarck-based company each year. The utility has about 99,000 North Dakota customers.

North Dakota's Public Service Commission has seven months to review the request.

MDU says its last natural gas rate increase was 2.1 percent in 2004.

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