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ANR Tries to Protect WI Market from New Rival

ANR Tries to Protect WI Market from New Rival

After an assault on its prized Wisconsin markets earlier this month by a formidable new rival pipeline project proposed by Wicor, Viking Gas and CMS Energy, ANR Pipeline came out shooting last week with a pledge to continue its annual expansions into the state. The Coastal Corp. subsidiary said its "10-Cent Solution" program, which has yielded two expansion projects in the last eighteen months will continue to be the best option for gas shippers in the region. This year's open season started last week and will continue through April 30 for new firm transportation service starting Nov. 1, 2001.

The current ANR project includes adding firm, year-round FTS-1 or ETS transportation to delivery points in northern Illinois and Wisconsin, including interconnections with Viking Gas at Marshfield, WI, and Northern Natural at Janesville, WI. Options, such as delivery of summer volumes to ANR's storage facilities in Michigan, also will be considered. To meet new service requests, ANR plans to expand its existing line following approval from FERC. An application for additional system capacity will be filed in time to begin construction during the summer of 2001 for an in-service date of Nov. 1, 2001, the pipeline said.

Two weeks ago, ANR filed an application for its second Wisconsin pipeline expansion in less than two years. The $37.5 million project would increase capacity on ANR's system by 200 MMcf/d through the addition of 21,500 hp of compression and three miles of 42-inch diameter pipe.

"Like our 1997 and 1998 open seasons, our 1999 proposal again provides the opportunity for growth capacity to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois customers on an incremental basis, matching the market's needs, with competitive rates and favorable terms," said ANR President Jeffrey A. Connelly. "Any expansion by ANR would maximize the use of our existing infrastructure while minimizing environmental impact."

ANR has had great success over the past few years defending its market territory from potential suitors, including the Viking Voyageur, Voyageur and Illinois Wisconsin Express expansion projects. It's latest competitor, the proposed $230 million Guardian Pipeline project, was launched two weeks ago, by Viking, Wicor and CMS. It could be its most formidable opponent yet because of a signed contract for more than 80% of its proposed capacity with affiliate and Wisconsin gas distributor Wisconsin Gas Co. The Guardian pipeline would add between 750 MMcf/d and 1.1 Bcf/d of firm transportation capacity into southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois from Joliet in November 2002.

Rocco Canonica

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