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Algonquin Files at FERC for Expansion Targeting the Northeast

Algonquin Gas Transmission has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct its East-to-West Expansion Project, which would move regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the eastern end of the pipeline's system to northeastern markets, including New England, New York and New Jersey, by November 2009, the company said Tuesday.

One of five large-scale pipeline expansion projects Algonquin parent Spectra Energy and its subsidiaries have under way in the region, the East-to-West Project would increase Algonquin system capacity by more than 746 MMcf/d. The project also would allow for reverse flow, adding supply security, more competitive pricing and increased operational flexibility, Spectra said.

Algonquin has executed firm, long-term agreements with shippers, including suppliers and local distribution companies, for the full capacity, Algonquin said. The company held a binding open season March 7-20, 2007 for the project (see Daily GPI, March 8, 2007). In November 2006 the pipeline announced the results of a related, nonbinding open season, which ended Oct. 27, 2006, saying shippers signaled that they may need more than 2 Bcf/d of new capacity to meet the demands of the growing Northeast market (see Daily GPI, Nov. 10, 2006).

The $380 million project would include upgrades to three existing compressor stations in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey and replacement of less than 17 miles of existing pipeline in Massachusetts and Connecticut. New facilities would include a compressor station in Bristol County, MA, and approximately 13 miles of pipeline in Norfolk County, MA.

"The Northeast region's demand for natural gas is expected to grow by 25% or more in the next five to 10 years. We are closely focused on developing projects in the region that are sized and timed to respond to both supplier needs to move new volumes as well as market needs to gain access to new supplies," said Bill Yardley, Spectra Energy Transmission group vice president. "Our existing systems offer ready access to all major Northeast markets and can be expanded quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively to deliver new supplies from diverse sources into the region."

Spectra said it will have invested $1.5 billion in gas projects in the Northeast between 2007 and 2009, which represents half of the company's $3 billion capital expenditures during that timeframe. These projects are expected increase transportation capacity in the Northeast by more than 2.5 Bcf/d.

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