Looking to capitalize off of the Millennium Pipeline entering service later this year, NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage (NGT&S) last week launched an open season for the potential construction of the New Penn Pipeline system and associated firm transportation, which would offer customers increased access to Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.

NGT&S is conducting a nonbinding open season to assess interest in constructing facilities to provide up to 500,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service from the Leidy facility across 82 miles to a new interconnection with Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC near Corning in Steuben County, NY.

After years of fits and starts, Millennium said its 182-mile pipe, which will extend from Corning across the southern tier and lower Hudson Valley of New York State to Ramapo in Rockland County, could be in service as early as November (see NGI, Sept. 10, 2007). NGT&S is a partner in Millennium Pipeline Co.

NGT&S said the proposed New Penn Pipeline would represent a new business entity within the family of companies. Depending on market response and pending all necessary regulatory approvals, New Penn anticipates providing the transportation service beginning in early 2010.

New Penn would offer the transportation service at an estimated daily incremental recourse-based transportation rate of 33 cents/Dth/d. The incremental rate reflects a preliminary estimate of the cost to construct the required facilities. New Penn would consider negotiated rate transactions at rates less than the proposed Recourse Rate but reserves the right to reject any bid that does not meet the minimum economic hurdles required to support the project. Shippers also would pay any associated commodity and fuel charges.

New Penn said it would also consider nonbinding expressions of interest for long-term transportation service. Interested parties can submit bids by close of business March 14 by contacting Bernie Schaffle at (703) 227-3265, or by e-mail at bschaffler@nisource.com.

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