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Delays No Longer: Vector, Alliance in Operation

Delays No Longer: Vector, Alliance in Operation

Ending concerns that related pipelines might not start service on the same day, both the Alliance and Vector pipelines opened for business on Friday.

The 285-mile 42-inch Vector project connects to 59 miles of existing 36-inch pipe leased line in Michigan, and crosses 1,900 tracts of land in the United States and Canada. The 700 MMCf/d project is one major new downstream outlet for the 1.325 Bcf Alliance project (see related story this issue).

Vector had construction problems because of wet weather and also was forced to delay its start-up from Nov. 1, while Alliance had continually pushed back its expected date of Oct. 1 because of commissioning problems.

Vector's pipeline basically will connect the Chicago and Dawn, ON, hubs. It will be expanded next year to 1 Bcf/d when the Highland compressor station in Michigan is completed. Also, 200 MMcf/d of short-haul service into Indiana will be initiated in March 2001, following completion of interconnecting facilities. Officials say that the system may be cost-effectively expanded to 1.5 Bcf/d eventually.

Current partners in the Vector project are Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., holding a 45% interest; Vancouver-based Westcoast Energy Inc., which holds 30% interest; and Detroit-based MCN Energy Group Inc., holding 25%. Since it was proposed in June 1997, representatives have worked with nearly 70 local, state, federal and provincial agencies to obtain the required permits.

Lead operators for Vector will be Enbridge Inc.-U.S. and Enbridge Pipelines Inc., subsidiaries of Calgary-based Enbridge. They will provide all field services in the United States except for the 59 miles of leased facilities in Michigan and except for gas control, nominations and administrative services. MichCon will provide the field services for the leased line in Michigan; Union Gas will do the same for the Canadian segment.

Carolyn Davis, Houston

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