Maine Natural Inks Gas Pact with the Government

Maine Natural Gas (MNG) has signed a multi-year contract that will guarantee gas service to the Mid-Coast region of Maine. MNG, a joint venture formed by CMP Group and Energy East, signed an agreement with the Federal Government to provide natural gas transportation to the Brunswick Naval Air Station located in Brunswick.

The LDC plans to construct a new underground pipeline to Freeport, and continuing on to Brunswick and Topsham. The supply will come from tapping into the Maritimes and Northeast Transmission Pipeline. The 18-mile project should begin later this summer, with a tentative finish date of Sept. 1, 2001.

The contract give MNG the responsibility of supplying natural gas to 33 buildings and 72 new housing units located on the naval air base site and additional naval housing complexes in Brunswick and nearby Topsham. MNG is currently building a lateral feed system to serve Calpine's 540 MW generation facility which is still under construction.

This comes as the latest maneuver in the race between MNG and Bangor Gas to be the dominant distributor in Maine, what has been called by many as the last frontier for gas service. Currently, MNG is authorized to supply 36 Maine municipalities, and hopes to build a local distribution system to serve Gorham, and expand its existing system in Windham.

"We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this contract and look forward to providing the Brunswick Naval Air Station with outstanding service. Also, this agreement is the first step toward our goal of introducing the natural gas energy option to Maine consumers along the entire mid-coast region of Maine in the years ahead," said Tim D. Kelley, MNG's president.

CMP and Energy East announced plans for a merger last year, and have been awaiting necessary approvals since then. The Securities and Exchange Commission is the only remaining approval needed.

Alex Steis

©Copyright 2000 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.