Energy East to Develop NY Storage Facility

Albany, NY-based Seneca Lake Storage Inc. (SLSI), a subsidiary of Energy East Enterprises, plans to develop a high-deliverability natural gas storage facility in the depleted salt caverns located in Reading, NY, and has set an open season to accept non-binding requests for firm storage service from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30.

The facility, which would be linked to the interstate pipelines of Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. and Dominion Transmission Inc., is scheduled to begin operating in November 2002. It would have a projected working gas capacity of 300,000 Dth, and would be capable of delivering up to 50,000 Dth/d. George Bonner, president of Energy East Enterprises, another subsidiary of Energy East Corp., said the facility was "much needed" for the "growing Northeast and Mid-Atlantic natural gas markets."

Once in operation, the SLSI project would be the Northeast's second high-deliverability natural gas storage facility using salt caverns, officials said, and its addition would give Energy East subsidiaries a total of 1.75 MM Dth of working gas capacity in salt cavern storage.

SLSI said it would soon file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to use the facility to supply firm and interruptible natural gas storage services at market-based rates, and also plans to file for appropriate permits from state and local authorities.

Open season bid packages and additional information are available from Bonner at (607) 721-1748.

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