Dominion moved last week to obtain binding precedent agreements for its proposed Dominion Hub III project following an open season that resulted in the expression of interest in more than 570,000 Dth/d.

Dominion Hub III, unveiled in November, is the second project announced by the Dominion Transmission subsidiary to carry Rocky Mountain natural gas supplies from a planned interconnect with the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) in Clarington, OH (see NGI, Nov. 19, 2007).

The company's first project, Dominion Hub I, would transport up to 200,000 Dth/d into Northeast markets on behalf of a Rockies-based shipper. Dominion already has entered into interconnect agreements with REX and has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking approval of Dominion Hub I (see NGI, Aug. 20, 2007).

"The strong response to our open season demonstrates a high level of interest from our core customers in having Rockies supply as an option for their supply portfolios," said Jeff Keister, director of wholesale marketing.

According to Dominion, the project would allow firm transportation customers to move a portion of their firm receipt rights to the planned interconnection with REX at Clarington. The current design would allow 300,000 Dth/d of existing firm receipt point entitlements to be transferred to the Clarington interconnect.

Because no major greenfield construction would be required, the project could be put in place with less disruption to landowners and the environment than other proposed projects, according to Dominion. Participants in the project also would continue to have secondary access to all other points on the company's postage stamp system, including access to Dominion South Point.

Dominion said it expects to charge an incremental reservation surcharge for the receipt point realignment based on the expected cost of the required facilities. The target surcharge is currently a unit rate of $0.06/Dth. Rates would be based on the final design of the project's facilities.

Before it claims victory, however, Dominion faces competition from a host of other companies that want to carry Rockies gas from the Clarington interconnect to eastern markets (see NGI, Dec. 17, 2007).

Williams' Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line in September announced plans to build the proposed Rockies Connector Pipeline, which would extend 250 miles, connecting Transco's Station 195 in York County, PA, to the eastern terminus of the REX line. And Spectra Energy's Texas Eastern Transmission that month completed an open season for its proposed Northern Bridge, which would carry the Clarington-bound gas supplies to the Philadelphia-Camden, PA, metropolitan area.

In late October, REX sponsors launched an open season to solicit market interest for the Northeast Express Project to carry gas from Clarington to Princeton, NJ. National Fuel Gas Co.'s West to East Project, unveiled in November, also would use the Clarington terminus to transport gas to the Northeast. And in December, El Paso Corp.'s Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Equitable Resources Inc. revealed plans to develop the Northeast Passage Project, which would extend from the terminus at Clarington to a new interconnect with Iroquois Gas Transmission at Pleasant Valley, NY.

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