Duke Energy Pipes Seek FERC Go-Ahead to Put New England Projects in Operation

Two Duke Energy gas pipeline affiliates have asked FERC to give them the green light by Wednesday to place their expansion projects in service in time to provide increased Canadian supplies to the gas-hungry New England market this winter heating season.

In letters to the Commission last week, both Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC and Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. reported that the rehabilitation and restoration of the rights-of-way of their Phase III expansion and HubLine projects, respectively, were "well advanced," and that hydrostatic testing of the new pipeline facilities would be completed soon. They indicated that the companion projects would be ready to be placed into service by early to mid-November.

The intertwined projects will supply an estimated 230.5 MDth/d of additional Atlantic Canadian gas to power generation facilities and distribution load in eastern Massachusetts. The plans called for Maritimes to build an extension that would run in a southeasterly direction through several Massachusetts counties to the East Coast where new Algonquin facilities would connect and extend offshore down the coast through Boston Bay to tie in with Algonquin's 1,064-mile, 1.6 Bcf/d existing system at Weymouth on the south side of Boston Harbor.

The Phase III extension of the 650-mile, 1 Bcf/d Maritimes pipeline, which imports Atlantic Canadian gas to the Northeast from the Sable Offshore Energy Project offshore Nova Scotia, includes 24 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline and one mile of 24-inch diameter pipeline, extending from Methuen, MA, through a number of counties to a connection with Algonquin's proposed extension in Beverly, MA. The project, which cost an estimated $134 million, was designed to serve the growing markets on the east end of Algonquin's system.

Algonquin's $127 million HubLine project includes about 29 miles of pipeline, extending offshore from an interconnection near Beverly with Maritimes' Phase III facilities to a tie-in with Algonquin's existing I-9 lateral in Weymouth.

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