After finding "robust" interest in its proposed Phase II expansion, Vector Pipeline LP., a joint venture between Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (60% interest) and Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. (40% interest), announced last week that it will formally request permission from FERC to expand its mainline natural gas transmission pipeline for the second time in two years.

Once completed in late 2009, the Vector system will have 1.3 Bcf/d of capacity. Preliminary engineering and environmental work is under way at the site location and the company plans to initiate the expansion filing process this fall with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Constructed in 2000 and currently expanding with two new compressor stations under a Phase I expansion, the Vector system includes 348 miles of mainline transmission between the Chicago Hub and the storage complex at Dawn, ON. Vector Pipeline LP.'s system begins in Joliet, IL and terminates at the international border at St. Clair, MI. The system has multiple interconnections, including Alliance, Northern Border, Guardian, ANR, NIPSCO, Crossroads, Consumers Energy, MichCon, DTE Washington 10 Storage, Bluewater Gas Storage and Union Gas. Three power plants also are tied into the Vector system: Crete Energy Ventures, Kinder Morgan-Jackson and Greenfield Energy Centre.

"While wrapping up our 2007 expansion, we were pleased to find robust interest in additional expansion clearly reflected by long-term agreements in our recent binding open season,'' said Craig R. Fishbeck, Vector Pipeline president. "This strong market demand encouraged us to draft plans to build one more compressor station and expand the Vector Pipeline by approximately 100 MMcf/d, with a proposed in-service date of Nov. 1, 2009. Adding another station will bring our system from its 2007 expanded capacity of about 1.2 Bcf/d up to 1.3 Bcf/d in 2009. As market interest continues to grow in the future, Vector still has the potential to increase capacity even further using economical compression expansion."

Vector held an open season for the Phase II expansion in May to test interest in up to 230 MMcf/d of additional system capacity (see NGI, May 7). The pipe's Phase I expansion, which is currently under way, will take the line's nominal capacity of 1 Bcf/d to approximately 1.2 Bcf/d through the addition of two compression stations. Phase I has a targeted in-service date of Nov. 1.

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