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Cascade, Westcoast Shelve Orca Line

Cascade, Westcoast Shelve Orca Line

Westcoast Energy has shelved the proposed Orca Natural Gas Pipeline project because of a lack of market interest in the Pacific Northwest. The proposed 140-mile pipeline from Sumas, WA, to points along the coast, was expected to be in service in 2004.

Many northwestern Washington communities that would benefit from the proposed project are served by project partner Cascade Natural Gas. Westcoast said it intends to reopen the project when sponsors are able to acquire the required market support.

The pipeline would have brought gas from Canada south to South Whidbey Island and then west across Admiralty Inlet to serve east Jefferson County, WA, including Port Townsend and surrounding communities south of Port Townsend. Westcoast initially said the project was in response to the growing demand for gas in Northwest, WA, where the population has grown 7.5% in the past five years.

Cascade's Will Odell, vice president of districts, said the project would have provided flexibility and liquidity in western Washington. "While this decision by Westcoast is disappointing, we still believe that additional natural gas capacity will be required to meet future energy demands in northwest Washington."

Cascade, a Seattle-based local distribution company, provides gas service to 184,000 residential, commercial, industrial and transportation customers in 90 communities in Washington and Oregon.

Rocco Canonica

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