RICHMOND, AUG. 17 -- Virginia Natural Gas Inc. said it could save as much as $2 billion over the next 30 years if it were allowed to funnel fuel through a proposed 119-mile pipeline.

The pipeline, which must be approved by the State Corporation Commission, would stretch from Northern Virginia into James City County.

Benefits from the pipeline could result in savings from $200 million to about $2 billion by the year 2010, according to an economic analysis filed with the SCC.

With its use, Virginia Gas would not have to rely on its current supplier, Commonwealth Gas Pipeline Corp.

Norfolk-based Virginia Gas also said the pipeline would enable it to serve new customers in Hanover, New Kent, Charles City and part of James City counties three to six years earlier than if it continued to rely on Commonwealth.

In a related request before the SCC, Virginia Power said it wanted to connect with the pipeline, which would extend from the Fauquier-Stafford county line to Toano. Another 25 miles of pipeline would be built from Loudoun County into Fauquier by Consolidated Gas Transmission Corp., which would supply Virginia Gas with fuel.

The SCC delayed hearing the case until Oct. 1 so it could decide on another Virginia Power request to build one or two gas-fired generating units in Chesterfield County.

Other benefits Virginia Gas cited include savings from contracts made directly with interstate suppliers such as Consolidated, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp. and Columbia Gas Transmission Corp., the parent company of Commonwealth.

The SCC said it will file its analysis and recommendations by Sept. 8, after a Sept. 2 deadline for those opposed to the plan to file their protest.