ANR Wisconsin Project Wins Approval at FERC

FERC last week gave the green light for ANR Pipeline to move ahead with construction of its Wisconsin Loop Expansion Project, which would provide about 116 MMcf/d of additional capacity to LDCs, marketers and power generators in the state. This puts ANR out in front of competing projects that also intend to vie for the market.

Significantly, the expanded capacity will provide Wisconsin customers with another means to access the cheaper Canadian gas supplies that will come in over the Northern Border Pipeline expansion and the Alliance Pipeline projects when they're completed, said ANR spokesman Joseph Martucci.

In awarding the certificate, the Commission gave ANR a head start over competing projects, the reborn Voyageur Pipeline and the Illinois Wisconsin Express, that also intend to bring the cheaper Canadian gas into the growing Wisconsin gas market. Voyageur and the Express haven't even filed project proposals at FERC yet.

The $24 million expansion, which will add 11.7 miles of 30-inch diameter looping from Joliet, IL, north into Wisconsin, is in response to an open season that the pipeline held in 1997, Martucci noted. He said the Michigan-based pipeline also might further expand its system in the future in response to a open season that ended Aug. 31. "We're still evaluating the bids," he said, when asked to estimate the amount of capacity requests received by ANR. He noted, however, that if ANR does decide on an additional expansion, it would be to provide service in 2000 or later.

"Our objective is to grow with the state on a phased-in basis," he told NGI, adding that much of the gas growth is coming from power generators. Martucci said ANR plans to meet that increased gas demand with additional looping and/or extra horsepower at existing compressor stations, rather than to build new greenfield projects.

Susan Parker

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