Enbridge Gas New Brunswick (EGNB) has entered into a three yeardeal whereby Green Bay, WI,-based WPS Energy Services will assumecontrol of EGNB’s approximate 11 MMcf/d transportation capacity onMaritimes & Northeast Pipeline. EGNB had to unload the capacitybecause as the distributor it could not also sell gas.

Currently, a new greenfield distribution system is being builtin New Brunswick, which will expose residents to natural gas forthe first time. EGNB won the rights for distribution in theProvince in fall of 1999, right after the government set up the gasindustry structure.

“When the government set up the industry here, it was set up asa totally unbundled industry so that us as the gas distributorcould not sell natural gas,” said EGNB spokesman Mark Butler. “Inorder to have Maritimes & Northeast pipeline build thefacilities to connect into our distribution system, they needed afirm transportation agreement signed to ensure they received theirtolls. We were the only ones in a position to make that commitment,so we had to sign the firm service agreement for transportationeven though we knew we were not actually going to be able to useit.”

EGNB awarded WPS the contract over other industry participantsdue to its “superior proposal” as well as its interest in the NewBrunswick marketplace, EGNB said. WPS has already filed itsapplication with the New Brunswick Board of Commissioners of PublicUtilities for gas marketer certification and expects to be ready todeliver gas by November.

Butler said he believed Irving Oil and Engage Canada had bothexpressed interest in applying to become certified marketers aswell.

“With the transportation capacity, WPS Energy Services willprovide competitive physical gas supply commodity and otherservices to end-use customers and natural gas marketers in NewBrunswick,” EGNB stated.

EGNB is a partnership between Enbridge Inc., and a group oflocal New Brunswick investors.

Alex Steis

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