South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. is considering a $12 million investment to consolidate several local operations at a 50-acre site it owns in North Charleston.

The utility applied for a stormwater permit earlier this month with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control for 30 acres of the tract on Aviation Avenue near Interstate 26.

"We are looking into some opportunities to expand some facilities and to consolidate some functions," SCE&G spokeswoman Trish Freshwater said. "It's one of several sites we are looking at."

She declined to say where the other sites are, except to say they are in the three-county region. "Applying for the permit is just one step in the process that takes place with any construction in the future," Freshwater said.

SCE&G wants to consolidate linesmen's crew quarters now on Ashley Phosphate Road and Leeds Avenue as well as its downtown Charleston mail center and customer-service call center on Leeds, she said. That would provide the utility with "more efficient operations," Freshwater said.

The new building would mainly be for administrative personnel, which means the line crews could go somewhere else, she said.

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"There is a desire and intention to use that property, but it is a piece of a larger puzzle," Freshwater said.

All of the specifics have not been worked out, she said.

SCE&G already has a fleet operations center behind the Aviation Avenue property, which "increases our interest in that particular site," she added. "Whatever we end up with would be the ability to centralize employees to better serve customers and there would be no loss of employees," Freshwater said.

Construction would provide 75 to 100 jobs, and the consolidation could lead to 350 workers being moved to the site. SCE&G wants to start on the project at month's end, according to its permit application. It would end Dec. 30, 2010. Freshwater did not immediately know plans for the facilities that would be vacated.