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Tetco, East Tennessee Connections Opened, Expansion Planned

Tetco, East Tennessee Connections Opened, Expansion Planned

Duke Energy Gas Transmission said yesterday it opened two 400 MMcf/d interconnections between its newly-acquired East Tennessee pipeline system and Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco), paving the way for ETNG customers to access more diverse supplies from the Gulf Coast region.

Duke bought the pipeline for $386.3 million in stock in January after El Paso was forced to sell the asset by the Federal Trade Commission as part of its merger with Sonat. At the time of the purchase, Duke Energy Gas Transmission President Robert Evans said the 1,100-mile East Tennessee pipeline was a good fit with Tetco because it crossed its line twice and was in an area of growing gas and power demand.

East Tennessee's two mainline systems in central Tennessee converge near Knoxville, extending thereafter to a point near Roanoke, VA. The pipeline has a design capacity of 700 MMcf/d and provides transportation and storage services to 40 local distribution companies and 16 industrial customers in the region. It crosses Tetco at its Mt. Pleasant compressor station and again near the town of Hartsville.

Duke also is planning a new East Tennessee expansion project, called Gateway, to accommodate expected growth in the region. Gas consumption is growing at an annual rate exceeding 4% in the Southeast region, which is double the national average. An open season for the Gateway Expansion will be held through June 15, allowing shippers to submit non-binding elections for firm transportation capacity. Service will begin Nov. 1, 2001.

"The prompt interconnection of the two systems within two and one-half months of the ETNG acquisition is indicative of Duke Energy's focus on the East Tennessee market," said Robert Evans, president of Duke Energy Gas Transmission. "The Gateway Expansion provides shippers an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the new Texas Eastern interconnects just completed with ETNG."

The ETNG system is a supplier to customers in eastern and central Tennessee, southwest Virginia, northern Georgia and northern Alabama. The system also includes a 1.2 Bcf/d liquefied natural gas storage facility near Knoxville.

Rocco Canonica

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