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Horizon Pipeline Gets FERC Nod

Horizon Pipeline Gets FERC Nod

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted out a conditional certificate at last week's regular meeting for the proposed 70-mile long Horizon Pipeline to carry 380 MMcf/d from the Joliet, IL, hub into northern Illinois.

Final certification is dependent on completing an environmental review and assessment. The project provides for construction of 28.5 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline and the leasing of 380 MMcf/d of capacity on 42 miles of pipeline owned by Kinder Morgan's Natural Gas Pipeline Company (NGPL).

Horizon is committed to paying NGPL just over $2 million annually for the 20-year lease. The life-of-the-contract total of $41 million is less than half of the $90 million Horizon estimates it would cost to build the 42 miles of pipe.

The project, sponsored by NGPL and Nicor Inc., is expected to cost $75 million. Sponsors have said the line would be capable of economic expansion in the future to serve markets in southern Wisconsin. Nicor Gas has committed to transporting 300 MMcf/d on the line for a 10-year term at a negotiated rate. Nicor says it needs to the additional supplies because its customer base is growing at the rate of about 30,000 new customers a year.

Horizon sponsors claim the line will have little impact on landowners because of the use of existing NGPL pipeline. Also much of the line to be built will use an existing electric powerline right-of-way.

Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2001 and be completed by Spring 2002. Horizon is the second line in the area to get the nod from FERC.

The 149-mile Guardian Pipeline, a 36-inch line that would transport 750,000 Dth/d of gas from the Chicago Hub to markets in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, was approved in June (see NGI, June 19). Guardian will connect with Wisconsin Gas Co's distribution system near Ixonia, WI. Both lines are expected to eventually aid in dispersing the 1.325 Bcf/d of additional western Canadian gas that is due to start full deliveries into the Chicago Hub on the Alliance Pipeline next month.

Ellen Beswick

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