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Vector Proposes NatGas Mainline Expansion to Carry Appalachia Supplies

Vector Pipeline LP is holding an open season for capacity that would potentially double its 1.3 Bcf/d pipeline, which now carries supplies between the Chicago Hub and the Dawn, ON, storage hub. The project, which would also retrofit the pipeline for bidirectional flow, would catch some of the burgeoning Appalachian Basin natural gas by accessing other pipelines.

The Vector Mainline Expansion Project, announced late Monday, would be the third expansion of the pipeline system, which currently traverses 348 miles. With enough binding support, Vector could add a 42-inch diameter loop and additional compression, pending contract renewals and depending upon interest of new shippers. An in-service date of November 2017 is anticipated for the new capacity.

"Traditionally, Vector Pipeline has primarily moved natural gas from west to east, with the majority of that gas being sourced via upstream pipelines in the Chicago area from various supply basins," said Senior Vice President Pete Cianci, who handles marketing and business development.

"With the potential of Marcellus/Utica gas entering the Vector system in Michigan via proposed third-party pipelines, we envision transporting large quantities of gas in both directions to supply Chicago, Dawn and all markets en route.

"By expanding and re-purposing the Vector system to flow bi-directionally, our customers will be able to acquire the lowest priced gas from multiple Chicago sources, or from the prolific Marcellus/Utica region, or from Michigan/Ontario storage."

The Midcontinent is expected to be awash in gas over the next five years on production growth from Appalachia and infrastructure buildout on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, experts said in Chicago last month (see Daily GPI, Sept. 10). Several pipeline projects are on the drawing board that involve the Dawn Hub but none have moved beyond the planning stage.

The Vector system, originally constructed in 2000, was expanded in 2007 and again in 2009 with additional compressor stations. Vector's system now has five compressor stations with a total of 120,000 hp and multiple interconnects and three power plant interconnections. There also is one local production receipt point in Calhoun County, MI.

Binding bids for firm capacity are to be accepted until 4 p.m. EST on Nov. 4. Vector would make a final determination of incremental capacity following the open season. Materials are available at www.vector-pipeline.com or by contacting Cianci at (734) 462-0233, or Matt Malinowski at (734) 462-0236.

Vector, headquartered in Livonia, MI, is a joint venture of Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (60%) and Detroit-based DTE Energy Co.

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