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Martimes Phase IV Expansion Gets Environmental Nod

FERC on Monday issued a favorable environmental review of Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC's Phase IV compression and pipeline expansion in Maine that would support the Canaport liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, which is being built by Irving Oil and Repsol YPF in Saint John, NB.

The Maritimes' project calls for the construction of five new compressor stations in the towns of Eliot, Westbrook, Searsmont, Brewer and Woodchopping Ridge in Maine; approximately 1.7 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline loop adjacent to Maritimes' existing right-of-way from the United States-Canada border to the Baileyville, ME, compressor station; and two new meter stations in Maine [CP05-335, CP96, 810].

The expansion would provide the Canaport terminal with access to U.S. northeastern gas markets by bolstering mainline capacity by approximately 418,000 Dth/d, said Maritimes, which is owned by Duke Energy, Emera Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp. The pipeline has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a certificate by March 2007 to accommodate a two-year construction period and in-service date of Nov. 1, 2008.

Emera, which has a 12.92% stake in Maritimes, plans to invest $350 million to build a 90-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline lateral from the proposed LNG terminal through southwestern New Brunswick to a connection with U.S. portion of Maritimes at the international border near Baileyville.

The Brunswick pipeline will be capable of carrying 850 MMcf/d of regasified LNG and its capacity can be expanded with added compression. The lateral requires National Energy Board approval. Construction of the Brunswick lateral is expected to be completed by late 2008 as well.

Canaport LNG could be the first LNG regasification terminal on the Atlantic coast to be constructed in decades and would be a major development for energy consumers from New Brunswick to Maine, and New Hampshire to Massachusetts.

Emera has negotiated a 25-year send-or-pay toll agreement with Repsol to transport gas through the Brunswick pipeline. Emera also has negotiated agreements with its Maritimes partner, Duke Energy, to have an affiliate of Duke continue its lead role in the Brunswick pipeline permitting process, and ultimately construct and operate the pipeline on Emera's behalf.

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