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Prince Edward Island Seeks Gas Distribution System

Prince Edward Island Seeks Gas Distribution System

Prince Edward Island, a popular vacation spot off the northern coasts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is looking to get on board the natural gas express line running from Sable Island through the Canadian Maritimes provinces.

The 2,184-square mile island's government has requested expressions of interest on building a distribution system, primarily to fuel electric generation, but also to serve the local food processing industry and the residential market. In a notice posted on the MERX bulletin board (www.merx.ca) the Prince Edward Island government, through the provincially-owned P.E.I. Energy Corp., has asked for submissions on a natural gas development plan.

A spokesman said there have been discussions with owners of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, which recently started mainline deliveries from Nova Scotia through New England. Pipeline officials have said they are willing to make a connection if there is a demonstrated market. An 8-10 inch pipeline from the mainland could either be buried under water or strung from the relatively new 14-kilometer bridge from New Brunswick to the island. Prince Edward Island has a population of 130,000 but hosts a considerably larger population of summer vacationers visiting its sandy, warm-water beaches.

In stage I of the process, prospective developers are asked to provide detailed descriptions of the essential elements of their proposals along with their own capabilities and track record in design, construction and operation; provide preliminary cost estimates relating to construction and operation; outline proposed financing arrangements; outline the economic benefits that could be expected to accrue to P.E.I.; and outline the expected role of government (i.e. financial, regulatory and otherwise). The deadline for submissions is April 28.

Developers must obtain the Expression of Interest document from MERX, Canada's National Electronic Tendering Service. Questions may be directed to Wayne MacQuarrie, P.Eng., CEO, P.E.I. Energy Corp. by calling (902) 894-0288.

Ellen Beswick

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