Vector, Northwest and Duluth Pipe Projects OK'd

FERC on Wednesday voted out orders that give Vector Pipeline LP, Northwest Pipeline Corp. and the city of Duluth (MN) the green light to proceed with smaller pipeline projects.

Vector received authorization to increase the maximum allowed flow capacity of its U.S.-Canadian border-crossing facility near St. Clair, MI, by about 359 MMcf/d to 1,330 MMcf/d to reflect "actual operating experience." The crossing facilities connect the U.S. Vector Pipeline, a 285-mile, 42-inch diameter line with capacity of 1 Bcf/d, to the Canadian leg of the system, providing for gas deliveries to U.S. Midwest and Canadian markets [CP98-131-005].

Northwest Pipeline got clearance to add 1,133 horsepower of compression to its Rockies Expansion in Wyoming and Idaho, bringing the total compression to be added by the project to 26,057 hp. The expansion calls for Northwest to build 91 miles of pipeline looping on its mainline between Green River, WY, and Pocatello, ID, and to increase compression at seven compressor stations to raise the physical north flow capacity on the system.

The project is expected to add 175 MDth/d of physical north flow capacity in the Muddy Creek, WY, to Stanfield, OR, corridor, and 191 MDth/d of physical north flow capacity in the Green River, WY, to Muddy Creek corridor, both of which have been significant constraint points on Northwest's pipeline system, according to the FERC order [CP01-438-001].

The city of Duluth was awarded a certificate to build a 5.3-mile, 10-inch diameter line from an interconnect with Great Lakes Gas Transmission in Douglas County, WI, to an interconnect with the city's local distribution facilities in St. Louis County, MN. The $3.5 million line would provide 35 MMcf/d of gas to help satisfy the needs of nearly 90,000 residents in and around the city [CP03-18]

The Great Lakes interconnection will provide Duluth with gas pipeline competition for the first time, according to the order. The city has been entirely dependent on Northern Natural Gas for its supplies until now. It said it plans to have the proposed facilities in service by the 2003-2004 heating season.

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