Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP last week announced its MetroExpress Expansion Project to serve the Iroquois market area with supplies carried on the Rockies Express Pipeline LLP (REX), as well as regasified Canadian and Atlantic Basin liquefied natural gas (LNG).

According to Iroquois, MetroExpress has several advantages over numerous other projects that have been proposed to serve the region with REX supplies. For instance, it goes all the way into New York City to an interconnect with Consolidated Edison that has takeaway capacity; also, it uses existing rights-of-way and offers the least regulatory risk, according to the pipeline.

MetroExpress could be sized around 300 MMcf/d; however, there is no minimum size for the project, so it could go forward even with minimal interest, according to the pipeline. The project would be a combination of looping and compression. Rates could range from 45 cents from Iroquois' interconnect with Algonquin to $1.00 from its TransCanada interconnect.

Iroquois is holding an open season through Feb. 29 for MetroExpress, with service commencing as early as Nov. 1, 2010. The project would provide incremental mainline transportation capacity from existing interconnects with TransCanada PipeLines at Waddington, NY, and Algonquin Gas Transmission at Brookfield, CT as well as from a proposed interconnect with Tennessee Gas Pipeline at Pleasant Valley, NY, to delivery points across Iroquois' market area. The project will also offer prospective shippers the opportunity to request market laterals to new points of delivery in Connecticut, Long Island and New York City.

"Iroquois' existing energy corridor and direct connections to southwestern Connecticut, Long Island and New York City strategically positions us to be the final transportation link for emerging Rockies and Midcontinent supplies from the West, as well as LNG from developing terminals in the northeast Atlantic and along the St. Lawrence River," said Scott Rupff, Iroquois vice president of marketing, development and commercial operations.

"Furthermore, our existing Hunts Point meter station in the Bronx and Long Island Sound Crossing distinguishes Iroquois as the only pipeline in the Northeast that can deliver an additional 300,000 Dth/d through its greater New York City infrastructure, thus lowering the necessary threshold volume to build and reducing the impact of construction on the environment."

As natural gas pipeline infrastructure continues to be developed bringing Rockies supplies to the Northeast, Iroquois says it is well positioned to deliver these new supplies to Connecticut and New York from either its existing interconnect with TransCanada PipeLines at Waddington, NY, or the proposed Pleasant Valley, NY, interconnect with Tennessee Gas Pipeline's Northeast Passage Project.

Iroquois also offers Atlantic LNG supply direct access to Northeast markets via its Brookfield, CT, interconnect with Algonquin Gas Transmission's proposed E2W Project. These developing sources of natural gas will add to the current supply options of Western Canada, Chicago, Dawn and Michigan storage that Iroquois already delivers to the marketplace.

More information on MetroExpress is at www.iroquois.com.

Staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently warned REX that completion of the REX-East environmental review could be delayed, which also could delay the project (see related story).

Iroquois is joining a pack of pipeliners seeking to build Northeast infrastructure at least in part on the back of REX supplies (see NGI, Nov. 19, 2007).

National Fuel Gas Co. has been considering a 324-mile pipeline to deliver Rockies gas from Ohio, where REX will terminate, to the Corning, NY, market. Texas Eastern Transmission Co.'s Northern Bridge expansion would provide incremental capacity from the eastern terminus of REX at Clarington, OH, to Oakford in the Philadelphia-Camden metropolitan area. Williams' proposed Rockies Connector Pipeline would extend approximately 250 miles, connecting its Transco Station 195 in York County, PA, to the eastern terminus of REX. And last summer Dominion said it secured firm, long-term commitments to receive gas from REX and deliver it to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Dominion Hub I was claimed by the company to be the first transportation project to provide firm access from REX to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Now it's working on the Dominion Hub III project.

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