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ANR Cleared to Expand Pipe to Meet Wisconsin Demand

FERC has approved ANR Pipeline's proposal for a loop expansion of its 30-mile Madison Lateral to meet growing demand for natural gas in Wisconsin.

Gas demand in Wisconsin has risen by more than 23.4% since 1990, with natural gas accounting for more than half of all energy consumed in the state's industrial and residential markets, according to ANR, a pipeline subsidiary of TransCanada. To respond to this demand, ANR said it received requests for firm transportation capacity in excess of 170,000 Dth/d from local distribution companies, marketers, power developers and end-users in an open season held in late 2007.

It executed binding precedent agreements for 91,400 Dth/d of the expansion capacity with several customers, including Xcel Energy, Madison Gas and Electric, Didion Mills Inc., Wisconsin Public Service Corp. (WPS), United Wisconsin Grain Producers and Integrys Energy, the pipeline said. Total capacity to be created by the expansion will be 98,000, an ANR spokesman said.

While none of ANR's customers offered to turn back capacity during the 2007 open season, WPS subsequently terminated contracts for 75,796 Dth/d used to service the Green Bay and West Green Bay areas of the state. ANR said it will reserve 50,000 Dth/d of the turned back capacity for use in conjunction with the Wisconsin 2009 Expansion Project and in other areas.

The project, which has an estimated price-tag of $38 million, calls for construction of an 8.9-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline to extend the existing loop of the Madison Lateral in Rock County in southern Wisconsin. In addition, ANR proposes upgrades at its Marshfield Compressor Station in Wood County, WI; North Wausau meter station in Marathon County, WI; and Randolph meter station in Columbia County, WI.

The expansion initially was expected to be completed by the end of this year, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the certificate a few months later than ANR had requested. That, combined with the the fact that construction could be stalled during the winter months, may push the project's completion date to 2010, the ANR spokesman said.

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