BC's Southern Crossing Re-Files With Two Shippers
BC Gas said it thinks its Southern Crossing Pipeline is now a go since
it reached agreement on terms with BC Hydro for firm capacity on the proposed
pipeline and peak-shaving to be provided to BC Gas by BC Hydro. In April,
the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) voted down the $350 million
Southern Crossing Pipeline paralleling the existing BC Gas mainline in
southern British Columbia between Yahk and Oliver (see
NGI April 13, 1998). BC Gas re-filed Friday with the BCUC and announced
another shipper in addition to BC Hydro.
"The commission in its decision felt that the projected growth
in demand from residential and commercial customers alone on the BC Gas
system were not sufficient to justify the large capital expenditure at
this time," BC Gas said in an April statement.
The commission ordered BC Gas to explore synergies between the seasonal
and peaking needs of its customers and the firm pipeline capacity requirements
represented by new thermal generation plants. BC Hydro was looking at firming
up gas transportation for increased power load. The idea is now for BC
Gas to buy back some of BC Hydro's contracted capacity during peak gas
"BC Gas believes that it has now met the conditions outlined in
the BCUC order of April 3, 1998 to make the Southern Crossing Pipeline
the lowest cost option for residential and commercial natural gas customers
as well as serving the best interests of electricity customers," the
company said in a statement this week. "If everything goes well we'll
be in place Nov. 1, 2000," said BC Gas spokesman Cam Avery.
In the same area Northwest Pipeline has filed for its Columbia Gorge
expansion. The project would increase capacity from Stanfield, OR, to Sumas,
WA. Initial volumes of the expansion are expected to be 50 MMcf/d with
in-service targeted for late 1999. The company hopes to add an additional
50 MMcf/d in 2002.
"We've actually bought some capacity on Northwest ourselves,"
BC Gas' Avery said. "We're trying to meet our own growth in peak load
demand. This whole area is growing. We're only delivering into the lower
mainland of British Columbia 105 MMcf/d. The rest of it's just looping
into our existing system in the interior of British Columbia."
BC Gas is up against a proposal for an LNG plant that would provide
peak shaving. That proposal has been put forth by Westcoast Energy. A Westcoast
spokesman said the LNG plant is still on the table. "We are still
going through the various parts of the process that are required for public
hearings." At the time BC Gas last filed with the BCUC, a number of
other LNG projects also were proposed by other parties. Joe Fisher, Houston
©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed in whole
or in part without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.