El Paso Energy’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is holding an openseason for its Eastern Express: New England Expansion through 2p.m. CST Oct. 15. The open season, which began yesterday, follows upon an Eastern Express Project 2000 March expansion filing at the FERCfor an additional 168 MMcf/d of capacity from additional compressionat Dracut, MA (see Daily GPI, March 18,1999).

Fueled by new supplies entering the northeastern region of theUnited States, the New England Expansion is designed to providefirm transportation service to the developing power generationsector in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. Service isscheduled to begin fall 2001.

“This project is another example of the type of scaleableexpansions Tennessee Gas Pipeline can offer to support emergingsupply and market opportunities,” said John Somerhalder, Tennesseepresident. “The Eastern Express Project 2000 laid the groundworkfor additional transportation options in New England. The NewEngland Expansion takes Eastern Express Project 2000 a step furtherby increasing the ability to transport gas to new markets in NewEngland and the Mid-Atlantic region.”

The New England Expansion augments the Eastern Express Project2000, which was filed with the FERC March 17. Project 2000 willprovide firm transportation service from an interconnect at Dracut,MA, with the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System/Maritimes andNortheast Joint Pipeline to delivery points in New England. The NewEngland Expansion, for which the current open season is being held,will expand and upgrade Tennessee’s infrastructure using existingrights-of-way and facilities to minimize greenfield construction.

An El Paso spokeswoman said Tennessee did not know how muchinterest in capacity to expect from the current open season. Afterseveral open seasons in 1997 and 1998, Tennessee said there wererequests for capacity from the Gulf of Mexico north to New England,from Chicago and Niagara east to the Mid-Atlantic, and from itsconnection with Maritimes and PNGTS in Massachusetts to new powergeneration demand in the Northeast. But only a very small amount ofproposed capacity ever came under contract.

Eastern Express had been whittled down to what most wouldconsider to be a relatively minor capacity addition for a number ofreasons, not the least of which is the anticipation that many ofTennessee’s long-term contracts will expire in 2000.

The open season is considered non-binding for participants andTennessee. A separate open season for capacity turnbacks isplanned. Transportation rates will be negotiated as part ofprecedent agreements with parties participating in the open season.Service requests must be for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of20 years. The project has a planned in-service time frame betweenSept. 1 and Nov. 30, 2001. Some service may be available earlier,and shippers should note if they desire earlier service.

For information, call Rob Haas, (617) 790-5822; Tina Sciaraffa,(617) 342-3682; or send a faxed request to (617) 204-5787.Information will also be available next week on the Internet atwww.tennesseeadvantage.com/neexpand/.

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